Government of Canada supports projects for youth in the growing tourism and hospitality sector 

News release

September 27, 2022        Gatineau, Quebec          Employment and Social Development Canada

The tourism and hospitality sector is a key economic driver and job creator, especially for young Canadians. That is why the Government of Canada is taking action to help youth prepare for careers in this growing part of the economy.  

Today, to mark World Tourism Day, the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, Marci Ien, highlighted Government of Canada investments that support young people getting the skills, training and opportunities they need in the tourism and hospitality sector.

These investments include funding of $15 million for eight Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS) projects that provide placements for 1,100 youth.

Tourism Saskatchewan is an example of an organization that received funding for their Ready to Work Tourism Hospitality and Camp Services Careers initiative, which will give 180 young people the skills, knowledge and experience for long-term, stable employment in tourism.

In addition, through the Student Work Placement Program, the Government has invested $10.3 million toward the Tourism HR Canada project called Propel, to create close to 1,400 work placements for post-secondary students. This funding will help youth develop the work-ready skills they need to have meaningful careers upon graduation.

Today’s announcement builds on the Government’s ongoing actions to help young Canadians, particularly those facing barriers to employment, adapt to the demands of an evolving workforce and move forward from the impacts of the pandemic.

Quotes

“Now more than ever, young people need opportunities to gain valuable skills to thrive in the workplace. I can’t think of a better way to gain unique experiences than sharing our diverse cultures and introducing tourists to our incredible wonders. Investing in young people through programs like these is an investment in Canada.”  

– Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, Marci Ien  

“The Propel project connects students with meaningful, hands-on learning experiences in a wide range of tourism workplaces. Linking employers with early talent and post-secondary institutions encourages fruitful partnerships that allow the next generation of tourism leaders to explore career pathways and gain the skills and knowledge to pursue their goals—and it also supports the sector as it re-emerges as one of Canada’s key economic contributors. Tourism HR Canada is grateful to be delivering this project through the Student Work Placement Program.”

– Philip Mondor, President and Chief Executive Officer, Tourism HR Canada

“Tourism Saskatchewan values the Government of Canada’s investment in the Ready to Work Tourism Hospitality and Camp Services Careers program. This training opens doors for people who are under-represented in the workforce. It empowers people and provides them with the skills and confidence to be successful and to find fulfilling jobs. Ready to Work is delivered in a number of northern Saskatchewan communities and provides first-hand experience and mentoring to many First Nations youth, who face barriers to employment.”

– Jonathan Potts, Chief Executive Officer, Tourism Saskatchewan

“Tourism is a key economic driver. It is also the industry that tells our story to the world. The workers in this industry — many of them students and youth — make possible the memorable experiences people carry with them for the rest of their lives. Our government is committed to helping the sector to recover from the pandemic. We will reclaim and rebuild a visitor economy that works for everyone. Together we will ensure that young Canadians thrive in our sector as they build a career in tourism.”

– The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance

Quick facts

  • Since 1980, the United Nations World Tourism Organization has celebrated World Tourism Day on September 27. The purpose of the day is to raise awareness on the role of tourism within the international community and to demonstrate how it affects social, cultural, political and economic values worldwide.  

  • Youth (15 to 24 years old) were hard-hit by pandemic-related job losses, and their unemployment rate rose significantly, reaching a record high of 28.8% in May 2020. In August 2022, the youth employment rate (58.6%) was essentially unchanged (+0.5 percentage points) from the pre-pandemic rate of February 2020, while the unemployment rate (9.2%) was below (-1.4 percentage points) the rate from 29 months earlier.

  • In 2020, the Government of Canada invested $492 million over three years, through Employment and Social Development Canada’s YESS program, for 269 projects across Canada to help young people facing barriers to employment. Agreements were signed starting in April 2020. In the spring of 2020, to support youth affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada provided additional funding of up to $187.7 million to the YESS horizontal partners, departments, agencies and Crown corporations to create 9,500 more work opportunities for young Canadians, particularly those facing barriers to employment.

  • Budget 2021 commitments include more than $5.7 billion over five years to help young Canadians pursue and complete their education and to create 215,000 new job skills development and work opportunities for youth. 

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Contacts

For media enquiries, please contact:

Johise Namwira
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, Marci Ien
873-353-0985
johise.namwira@cfc-swc.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
819-994-5559
media@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca
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