(OTTAWA, ON—August 4, 2021) Tourism HR Canada today announced the launch of a federally funded Student Work Placement Program offering paid work-integrated learning opportunities in the tourism and hospitality sector.

Called Propel, the new program benefits the full spectrum of the visitor economy as it emerges from the crushing impact of the pandemic. Students gain paid hands-on learning and mentoring in their field of study. Employers acquire much-needed early talent to help with the recovery of the industry, as well as assistance with wages after an 18-month stretch of little or no income. Post-secondary institutions complement their programming by connecting students and the workplace.

“Propel is integral to the recovery and resiliency of Canada’s tourism sector,” stated Philip Mondor, President and CEO of Tourism HR Canada. “Our industry has been left reeling from the measures needed to ensure the health and safety of Canadians. Despite their best efforts, many employers were not able to retain their staff and are facing difficulty rebuilding as restrictions lift. Students have missed out on opportunities to get a foothold in the labour market, build essential social and employability skills, and make meaningful industry connections. Propel creates a direct link between students looking to enhance their workplace skills and employers who can provide that valuable experience while also showcasing the depth and breadth of career pathways in the industry.”

Funded by Employment and Social Development Canada through the Student Work Placement Program, Propel offers employers a wage subsidy of up to 75% of a qualifying student’s wages, to a maximum of $7,500. Students enrolled at a recognized post-secondary institution can apply for a paid position to fulfil the co-op or internship component of their program.

Early adopters of this program include Accor, George Brown College, Ryerson University, and Vancouver Community College.

“It’s been a devastating 18 months for hospitality, but the teamwork and spirit of entrepreneurship that has seen us through is truly inspiring. We are delighted to be part of an initiative that is helping our industry to win and build back stronger and better than before. Just as we are committed to providing unparalleled guest experiences, we are driven to search for diverse talent who want to reach their fullest potential with a rewarding career. I am proof that it is possible to “Be Limitless” with Accor. I started my career over 30 years ago in the laundry room at Accor’s Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel and advanced through the business to now lead over 22,000 employees in more than 100 hotels across North & Central America. This program will help to find those passionate individuals who want to be part of an exciting future, and we look forward to welcoming them to our properties in the fall,” said Heather McCrory, CEO North & Central America, Accor.

“Forget the pandemic…the next crisis is already here, and it is the labour gap that we are experiencing in hospitality and tourism,” explained Frederic Dimanche, Director, Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Ryerson University. “The reputation of our sector has suffered and school enrolments are down. Proactive strategies such as Propel, with efficient and innovative partnerships between the public sector, schools, and industry, are essential to succeed.”

“Our students and community partners in hospitality have been deeply impacted by the pandemic, and we know there is uncertainty across the industry as Canada begins its recovery process,” stated Dennis Innes, Dean of Vancouver Community College’s School of Hospitality, Food Studies & Business. “The funding from Employment and Social Development Canada for the Propel program creates opportunities that support students and employers, while also highlighting the importance of paid internships and the value of skilled labour. We are excited to be a part of the launch of this program.”

“We are delighted to have these strategic partners on board to launch this program with us,” said Mondor. “Accor is committed to an innovative training culture, while our postsecondary partners value a blended approach to learning that provides students with a head start on their career goals. We are actively making arrangements with additional institutions and employers across Canada, and we invite all qualifying parties—from small, independent operations to large, multi-property companies—to apply for this timely support for our sector at PropelCareers.ca.”

Canada’s tourism sector has lost over 500,000 jobs from its workforce since the pandemic began. Propel will play a key role in attracting and retaining students to the varied opportunities becoming rapidly available as the economy reopens, supporting a sustainable future for one of Canada’s key economic engines.


About Tourism HR Canada:

Tourism HR Canada is a pan-Canadian organization with a mandate aimed at building a world-leading tourism workforce. It facilitates, coordinates, and enables human resource development activities that support a globally competitive and sustainable industry and foster the development of a dynamic and resilient workforce. The organization works with the industry to attract, train, and retain valuable tourism professionals by giving them the tools and resources they need to succeed in their careers and entrepreneurial endeavours. Details on the Propel Student Work Placement Program can be found at PropelCareers.ca.

About Accor:

Accor is a world leading hospitality Group with over 5,100 properties and 10,000 food and beverage venues throughout 110 countries. The Group has one of the industry’s most diverse and fully-integrated hospitality ecosystems encompassing luxury and premium brands, midscale and economy offerings, unique Lifestyle concepts, entertainment and nightlife venues, restaurants and bars, branded private residences, shared accommodation properties, concierge services, co-working spaces and more. Accor also boasts an unrivalled portfolio of distinctive brands and approximately 260,000 team members worldwide. Through its Planet 21 – Acting Here, Accor Solidarity, RiiSE and ALL Heartist Fund initiatives, the group is focused on driving positive action through business ethics, responsible tourism, environmental sustainability, community engagement, diversity and inclusivity. Founded in 1967, Accor SA is headquartered in France and publicly listed on the Euronext Paris Stock Exchange (ISIN code: FR0000120404) and on the OTC Market (Ticker: ACCYY) in the United States. For more information visit group.accor.com or follow Accor on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn and Instagram.