I think we can all agree, it’s been another interesting summer. Eight weeks ago, we entered Step 3 of the Restart plan with a big sigh of relief as we started the summer full of optimism.
Today, roadblocks to recovery continue to roost as our climate of uncertainty prevails. The very intense wildfire season has again reminded us of how vulnerable our communities and our industry is to climate change. My thoughts extend out to the communities and businesses across the Province that are experiencing uncertainty, displacement and losses due to the fires. The 4th wave of the pandemic is no longer a whisper, rather a reality as announced by Canada’s chief public health officer Theresa Tam. And the workforce shortages continue to impact every business today and can be expected to stymie long- term recovery of the industry.
At go2HR, we challenge ourselves daily to be part of the solutions needed.
To fight the 4th wave, we are amping up our efforts to engage businesses in industry’s free, online BSAFE™ training. We’ve updated it to reflect the changes of Step 3. This training content remains important and relevant as COVID-19 will be around for some time. The more than 350 businesses and 1300 workers who have engaged in BSAFE are now connected for future health and safety updates and training with go2HR. I am very proud of how our industry has come together to create safer workspaces, but let’s not stop there. Let’s continue to use our collective voice to promote vaccinations for all to help slow down the spread of the COVID-19 virus variants to insure safe spaces for all.
The labour shortage issue is something that likely will also will be facing for some time. As an industry, we will need to come together early this Fall to tackle key goals to ensure a labour supply in the future that focuses on
- Maintaining the workers we have
- Stimulating the workforce back to work as some are sitting on the sidelines
- Encouraging more Canadians to join the industry, particularly in under-represented groups
- Ensuring access to international workers, a key labour source for us and important element of what makes Canada unique and respected around the world.
On the data front, Our BC Employment Tracker, now updated with July 2021 data on our website, which provides visibility to the industry’s employment activities by sector and region. The new interactive tool debuted on our website last month and will be updated monthly. The Employment Tracker also contains key insights and analysis of employment activity.
We are also currently gathering critical workforce data through our employee and employer survey to understand the workforce, the perception of the industry and future plans. This data is critical in order to better understand our labour challenges and to plan support for the future. We need information to garner further government support for workforce recovery funds to ensure we have sufficient, skilled workers in the future to realize the full potential of recovery for our industry. I do want to thank you for sharing in your network. We would not have received the responses to date without you, and thank you. Please continue to help us to promote the employer survey with your networks.
Congratulations to Richard Porges who was recently named CEO of Destination BC. When I joined the industry 18 months ago, it was clear to me Richard had a deep understanding and expertise on the industry workforce, past challenges and future outlook. I learn something with every conversation we have and look forward to continuing to work with him and with Destination BC to realize strong workforces and safe workplaces that deliver world-class tourism and hospitality experiences across BC.
Stay safe everyone,