The tourism industry hopes to find workers in the school system, including at the primary level
If you ask a kindergarten student what they want to be when they grow up, you will often hear things like a ballerina, a hockey player, a doctor, or a firefighter.
The Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick hopes to expand this list to also include careers such as hotel clerk and restaurant waiter.
Tourism operators face a serious shortage of workers in these areas, said Carol Alderdice, group president and CEO.
And that is holding back the growth of the industry.
Alderdice said demand has finally started to increase with the easing of pandemic restrictions, but many operators are still unable to operate at full capacity because they are understaffed.
Some restaurants have to operate at reduced hours, she said.
But, a labor shortage has actually been a problem since before the pandemic, she said.
The association therefore worked on a plan to increase its membership.
Part of this plan includes a partnership with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.
Tourism operators will be making presentations to students in schools, she said, including early grades.
âWe have a video project that will start in the fall in September for grades 11 and 12,â said Alderdice, âto interview operators to find out more about tourism and why people work in tourismâ.
This will give students a sense of how the tourism industry works, she said.
âNext year,â she said, âthis video project is going to be K to 12.â
“So all school kids will have the opportunity to do this video project.”
In younger classes, she added, the whole class will do the project together instead of each student doing it individually.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Education confirmed that the ministry signed a partnership agreement with the tourism association in March.
But Flavio Nienow said that did not include elementary school students.
Information morning – Fredericton10:54Effect of labor shortage on the tourism industry
âThe partnership will increase access to experiential learning and mentoring opportunities in the tourism sector for middle and high school students,â Nienow wrote in an email response.
It will also âsupport professional learning opportunities for teachers,â Nienow said.
âThe ministry has signed similar partnerships,â he said, âwith Planet Hatch and CyberNB and continues to explore potential partnerships with other industries and community groups to create more practical opportunities for students. “