At go2HR, we begin 2023 with a sense of optimism, inspired by the work underway to recover and renew our industry. As many of us struggle with fewer people than we need to power our workforces, we are also recapturing the spring in our step. The winners of this year’s Northern BC “Spark” Program, Danielle Roscher of Untamed Tours, David Vanderhoop of Haida Tide, and Chantal Bacchus of Haida Gwaii Volun-Tourism, exemplify the innovation, ideas and enthusiasm that runs deep in our industry. I look forward to celebrating more success stories on March 2nd at the BC Tourism and Hospitality Awards during this year’s 2023 BC Tourism and Hospitality Conference and seeing many of your there!
During the first quarter of 2023, alongside our health and safety, human resource and training efforts, go2HR is laser focused on implementing important elements of the BC Tourism and Hospitality Labour Recovery Framework. Remember that we developed this framework in partnership with more than 20 representatives from industry associations and destination marketing organizations across the province who remain valued members of our Industry Engagement Working Group.
Pillar 1 is aimed at attracting new talent to the tourism and hospitality industry. This could be for a first job or fulfilling career. Pillar 2 is focused on improving how we communicate the unique value of working in tourism and hospitality by listening to and communicating what appeals to workers themselves, including: culture, flexibility, perks, and skills development.
Key pieces of work completed on the Labour Recovery Framework include:
- Targeted research to better understand perceptions of workers (previous, current and those who have never worked in our industry) about working in the tourism and hospitality industry.
- An extensive environmental scan of existing programs and resources, from across BC, Canada and in several international jurisdictions, all aimed at youth career awareness.
- A final research report outlining current barriers to career awareness and opportunities to revitalize industry curriculum at the high school level.
- A draft BC Career Awareness Project strategy and four initiatives that, pending funding, could be implemented over the next three years. Here we are going to be focused on leveraging existing channels in the system such as the secondary Tourism 11/12, Career Education, and Work Experience.
Our amazing Industry Engagement Working Group met on January 19 to continue their direction of our forward progress – and encouraged us to move ahead quickly with one potential Career Awareness Project program. During this spring break, we are proposing a Victoria-based tourism and hospitality “bootcamp” for grade 10-12 students. Conceptual programming would be a mix of career awareness and investigation, career success stories, job readiness and training, on-the-ground experiences via field trips, and peer-to-peer knowledge sharing. Ambitious? Absolutely! But we see a window to test a new concept and learn what might be possible for spring 2024. If your organization is interested in learning more, or contributing to this effort, please reach out to labour-recovery@go2HR.ca.
We will also be coming out this spring with a recruitment campaign directed at inviting youth and new Canadians to join our industry this summer! Those assets will be also available for you to use in your communications.
Your support for our labour recovery efforts reflects what I know to be true of our industry, that we are all interconnected, and we need to hold hands together, especially when the going gets tough.
Those are the poignant words of actress Michelle Yeoh, who made history as the first Asian woman to be nominated for best actress at this year’s Oscars. Representation matters and I encourage you to learn more about go2HR’s resources on equity, diversity, and inclusion, and stay connected with us as we embark on this critical element of sustainable labour recovery.
When I stop and think about how tourism and hospitability work is embedded in every corner of the province and how much we are relied upon to power our economy, we are truly, to borrow from the title of Ms. Yeoh’s most recent film, everything, everywhere, all at once.
Stay healthy, safe and keep in touch,