New Canadians Get a Head Start in New Brunswick’s Tourism Sector

The tourism sector is vital to New Brunswick, contributing nearly one billion dollars per year to the provincial economy. As the demand for tourism goods and services increases, so does the demand for labour. But with a potential labour shortage on the horizon, by 2025 the New Brunswick tourism sector could face a labour shortage of almost 6,300 full-year jobs left unfilled. According to the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council (CTHRC)’s Tourism Labour Supply and Demand report, increasing the attractiveness of the tourism sector and accelerating the integration of new Canadians into the workforce could close the gap between supply and demand and ultimately help mitigate the projected labour shortage.

The CTHRC’s Ready-to-Work (RTW) program is aimed at attracting youth, Aboriginal Peoples, people living with disabilities, mature workers, and new Canadians to work in the Canadian tourism sector. It is delivered by tourism Human Resource Organizations (HRO) all across the country. The free program combines classroom training with practical on-the-job experience and recognized industry certificates. In New Brunswick, several of the Multicultural Associations including the Multicultural Association of Carleton County (MACC) and the Multicultural Association of Fredericton (MCAF) have recognized the potential of the RTW program to provide their clients with professionals from countries all over the world, with valuable Canadian workplace experience.

In 2010, MACC partnered with the Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick (TIANB) to deliver RTW to 20 new Canadians, 19 of whom were existing MACC clients. By the end of the six-week, part-time program, which was held at Atlantic Inns in Jacksonville, NB, participants had built confidence, gained work experience, and earned certificates in Food Safety, First Aid, and CPR. The TIANB RTW program includes emerit Tourism Essentials training, which teaches transferable skills that are applicable in any tourism workplace, and emerit Canadian Workplace Essentials, which helps newcomers to Canada develop a clear understanding of the values and attitudes that Canadian employers seek in employees.

Participant Asako Sato found out about RTW from her employment counselor at MCAF. An avid traveler who came to Canada to pursue university studies, Sato had a keen interest in working in the tourism sector. She wanted to learn more about career and job opportunities in Canada. “When I found out about the program,” says Sato, “I thought it would be a great chance to learn about the industry”.

Since the cohort graduated, 80% of participants, including Sato, have found employment. RTW graduates integrate quickly into the workforce because they have been provided specific training geared for work in tourism, have a clear understanding of the values and attitudes needed to succeed in the Canadian workplace, and provide excellent customer service. “I recommend RTW for newcomers to Canada,” says Sato. “It is a great program for people looking to start a career in the tourism industry”.

MCAF has established a waiting list to ensure that its clients can take advantage of one of the eight RTW sessions that TIANB offers every year. While providing valuable training and experience to new Canadians, the partnership between TIANB and multicultural associations will help bridge the gap between labour supply and demand in New Brunswick.

To find out more about the TIANB RTW program, please visit their website.

The RTW Program is available in most provinces and territories and program content, delivery, and availability may differ. To date, more than 11,000 individuals have participated in the RTW program, which attracts over 800 participants every year. For more information on the RTW program or to find a HRO in your area, please visit the CTHRC website.