“Beware the Ides of March” penned William Shakespeare in his play Julius Caesar. The ‘Ides of March’ commonly referenced to mean March 15th, was the warning to the Roman Emperor from a soothsayer that forewarned of ominous times ahead. Who knew that March 15, 2020 and its cautionary literary metaphor would become a part of our daily lives.
Like you, these early days of Spring, remind me of how innocent we all were just twelve months ago. I know it’s not possible but doesn’t it seem longer than a year when working in offices and meeting in person was the norm. We had no idea of what was to come, pleasant memories blurred by the sameness of our “new normal.”
While many other aspects of the economy have rebounded or are at least well on the way to recovery, our beloved industry is still reeling. Our once dynamic workforce, a key engine to our provincial economy has been shocked. A diverse and talented skilled workforce, numbering more than 300,000 people we have a long way to go to get back to those previous levels. In collaboration with industry, we are excited to be undertaking some important research into the labour market, thanks to financial support from the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training. This research will help our industry ensure we have the needed workers with the right skills to recover. We will be holding virtual regional sessions though March to garner your input on what type of LMI will best serve your needs.
I’m so proud to be a part of an industry that has steeled itself through “hardest hit” and evolving public health orders -. We’ve seen remarkable pivots, from all areas of tourism and hospitality. And we’ve witnessed incredible collaborations such as the Metro Vancouver Tourism and Hospitality Task Force, the Tourism Resiliency Program and more. Organization have pooled together limited resources to help continue to advocate for our industries. The Tourism Task Force was created to help create recommendations to move our province back to a place of economic vibrancy for this sector. Now, business are looking to future with a bit more hope as the vaccine rollouts begin in earnest but a climate of uncertainty still prevails. Our goal is that as business’ restart and resume operations, they will tap into the expertise that go2HR has developed to help guide them in their business planning decisions.
Another new program that I am really excited about is one that go2HR is current developing. With government support, we are excited to be embarking the development of a safety certificate program recommended in the Tourism Task Force Report designed to provide foundational health and safety knowledge to increase confidence within the workforce, customers and communities.
This week’s Tourism and Hospitality conference, a collaborative effort between two of our industry’s foundational organizations TIABC and BCHA, is another great example of industry working together. The conference has offered a great opportunity to learn more about some of the exciting new initiatives that are being unveiled as well as key government contacts and program supports for our industry. This Friday, March 12th, I will be joining Philip Monday from Tourism HR Canada to discuss labour strategy. The event is free and open to all to join. If you are interested please register here.