TORONTO — The Ontario Tourism Education Corporation (OTEC) is set to continue its leadership efforts in bringing an innovative sector-based partnership planning and research process to several Ontario tourism regions over the next year. In partnership with the Ontario Restaurant Hotel Motel Association (ORHMA) these projects will enable stakeholders — including regional tourism organizations, employers, educational institutes, employment service providers and workforce planning boards — to develop collaborative strategies at the local level that align training with the skills needed by businesses.

OTEC has received funding to support regional partners in helping connect job seekers at all skill levels, including entry level candidates, to the training they need to access jobs, improve workforce performance, reduce turnover and to enable the tourism and hospitality sector to grow and compete in the new economy.

Building on planning sessions conducted across the province in 2017, OTEC will lead this project to address four strategic priorities:
• Foster an environment of focused collaboration and coordination
• Develop a reliable talent pipeline for employers
• Secure opportunities for jobseekers lacking transferrable skills and experience
• Enhance the industry image

“Over the decades, OTEC has focused on creating sector-focused workforce solutions involving collaboration and partnerships to support the labour and skills needs of Ontario’s tourism and hospitality industry,” says Victoria Behune, president & CEO, OTEC. “These projects uniquely bring together employers, employment training and employment-service providers towards progressive labour-market research and regional workforce-planning initiatives.”

Launching in nine destinations, including Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the Lake, Thunder Bay, Quinte West, Gananoque/Brockville, Kingston, Windsor, Kitchener/Waterloo and Toronto, these projects are designed to provide valuable research, leverage innovative new workforce technology and integrate locals’ skills and competency training with employment and training networks. This will help identify entry points and career paths within the sector for candidates — regardless of transferable skills or experience — and to evaluate the effectiveness of this model.

“We have been working in partnership with OTEC for several years to develop a set of solutions that will connect job seekers and employers at all levels and enhance our productivity and competitiveness. This initiative will enable us to reach industry stakeholders across Ontario with a comprehensive strategy for addressing the labour- and skills-shortages affecting our industry,” says Tony Elenis, president & CEO or ORHMA.

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