KINGSTON, Ont. — In collaboration with Destination Northern Ontario (DNO), Nature and Outdoor Tourism Ontario (NOTO) and the Ontario Tourism Education Corporation (OTEC), Regional Tourism Organization 9 (RTO 9), representing south eastern Ontario, has partnered to expand Tourism SkillsNet North (TSNN) – an initiative designed to identify workforce labour gaps and match job seekers with available job opportunities within the tourism sector in northern Ontario.

As a result of new partnerships with RTO 9, TSNN will be able to identify specific workforce labour gaps in south eastern Ontario, as well as identify and train 100 potential employees in the region. RTO 9 will work to connect employees hired after April 1, 2023 and prospective employees with free training provided virtually by project partner OTEC. Additionally, RTO 9 will work with employment service providers in south eastern Ontario to match prospective employees with available job opportunities in the tourism sector.

For employees hired after April 1, 2023, while the training is free, qualified employers will be eligible for a 50-per-cent wage subsidy for up to 10 employees. This subsidy is capped at $3,000 for a seasonal employer (new TSNN job seeker/employee); $2,500 for a seasonal employer or year-round employer (returning TSNN job seeker/employee); and $5,000 for a year-round employer (new TSNN participant/employee).

Participants and job seekers will be enrolled in a free blended learning environment which includes virtual, instructor-led workshops and self-directed e-learning courses. Employers participating in the program are eligible to enroll in free instructor-led training. Additionally, RTO 9 will work with various Employment Service Providers in the region. Registrations are currently being accepted and the program will run until March 29, 2024, pending available funding.

“As we work collaboratively with our partners to support post-pandemic workforce recovery, it’s critical that we focus on attraction and retention of highly skilled people who have a passion for the vital tourism sector,” says Bonnie Ruddock, executive director of RTO 9. “The south eastern Ontario Tourism SkillsNet (TSN9) program will serve to re-build the tourism workforce in our region by providing skills training and working with employment service providers and regional support networks to draw out people who may be interested in jobs in the tourism industry.”

“This program will serve to showcase the wide variety of jobs in south eastern Ontario,” says Anne Awori, project manager for TSN9. “It will also go a long way in building a workforce that is ready for careers in the tourism industry which will ultimately help our tourism businesses.”


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