Go2hr CEO Arlene Keis explains that the region faces specific industry pressures.
“Unemployment is already tightening up the region, particularly in the northeast, and the expanding mining, oil and gas sectors are enticing young workers to take positions, creating an added strain on the tourism providers in the region.”
Labour demand is expected to increase steadily at a rate of two per cent per year, which is above the national average of 1.6 per cent. As a result, it is expected that there will be labour shortages of just over 430 positions. The hardest hit will be the food and beverage industry, making up three per cent of the province-wide total. The food and beverage industry is expected to have 43 per cent of the openings in the tourism industry which only compounds matters.
The study also notes that the average labour supply growth rate is projected to be lower than the demand growth rate by a 1.1 per cent to 1.6 per cent margin. This will result in a total of 14,000 jobs going unfilled.
Last year, go2hr created the B.C. Tourism Labour Market Strategy to help address the situation. The organization says it is taking steps to assist government, industry, and stakeholders to take proactive steps combat against the labour shortages. Their suggestions include: developing career awareness and recruitment campaigns that will highlight job opportunities in the industry, looking into under represented talent pools Aboriginal people, older workers, persons with disabilities and new immigrants, extending recruitment nationally and internationally, assisting industry operators stay informed about the best practices in human resources to help staff retention, and addressing the need for accessible and affordable training options in either remote or rural locations.