Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador has been training people in the tourism industry for 35 years and with a labour shortage looming Juanita Ford said the group recognizes it needs to do something more.
Ford is the manager of workforce and industry development with HNL.
She said in the next 10-15 years the tourism industry will be short 3,000 workers.
“So in order to grow our industry we need to make sure we have a stable workforce to meet our expectations.”
To do so HNL has partnered with Tourism HR Canada to look at innovative ways where it can get more people working in the industry.
The groups will do that through a provincially funded $588,000 three-year training and research project that is supported by the College of the North Atlantic’s Workforce Innovation Centre located at the Corner Brook Campus. The project will help rural Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who wish to transition to work in the tourism sector.
HNL is one of four groups that have been allocated funding through the centre, which was launched in May.
Advanced Education and Skills Minister Al Hawkins announced the inaugural round of projects at the campus on Friday afternoon.
Ford said the focus of the project is on rural Newfoundland and Labrador because some of key destinations and priorities it has for tourism development are in the rural communities.
She said the project is about employees and about improving the skillsets of businesses and it will be engaging with communities and employers who want to take part.
Training will occur in the spring of 2018 and 2019 to prepare people for the key seasons and the research component will be completed at the end of the three years.
Ford also sees opportunities for collaboration with the other projects announced as many will be working in the same communities.
* $588,000 for Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador to support rural Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who wish to transition to work in the tourism sector
* More than $497,000 for Memorial University of Newfoundland’s Genesis Centre to explore ways to increase entrepreneurship among women and immigrants in the technology sector
* Over $361,000 to the Social Research and Demonstration Corporation to develop and deliver an innovative training model for entry-level occupations in the aquaculture industry that meets labour and employer needs
* Just over $292,000 to the Association for New Canadians, in partnership with Memorial University’s Grenfell Campus, to develop and implement a program connecting refugees to employment opportunities in the province’s agriculture sector