Propel Takes Aim At Labour Shortage

Travel agencies are among those welcome to take advantage of a federally funded student work placement program, a March 23 Baxter webcast was told.

Joe Baker of Tourism HR Canada, which coordinates the Propel program, said travel agencies are “100% yes” able to apply for wage subsidies to hire post-secondary students on work-integrated learning placements.

The $7,500 subsidy is only valid until the end of this month (it then becomes $5,000 or $7,000 depending on the student — this is a federal change to all such programs).

“The concept of work-integrated learning has been around for a long time,” Baker said, pointing to apprenticeships.

The qualifying students may be hospitality students but don’t necessarily have to be, with Baker noting the likes of engineering, IT and marketing students may also qualify for what amounts to “hands-on mentoring and learning.”

That can include the likes of field education and co-op placements.

Baker’s colleague Rachel George in turn said the available funding comes at “a time that is more important than ever.”

There is rising concern at the Tourism Industry Association of Canada over labor shortages in the tourism sector, with TIAC saying the shortages have reached a crisis level.

Baker said Propel “is here to support early talent strategies” for the tourism trade.

Propel invites companies to post an opportunity, apply for the wage subsidy and then hire a student from a “recognized Canadian post-secondary institute.”

Baker told viewers that there are a “lot of aids” that can help users get through the Propel process, and also praised the program’s flexibility.

George added that those involved with Propel are “highly motivated to help you (travel firms) succeed.”

Propel is available for both English- and French-speaking students.

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