Thompson Okanagan Tourism rolls out free tourism program

·2 min read

Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) has partnered with the University of Victoria – Peter B. Gustavson School of Business to provide a Tourism Skills Training (TST) Program, with support from the Province of BC.

The TST Program, which is being offered free of charge, will provide enrolees with a Domestic Tourism Certification, which will prepare them to work in various hospitality and tourism positions throughout the Thompson-Okanagan, with a focus on serving domestic markets in traditional employment or self-employment.

The full-time program will take place online with participants receiving mentorship, employment coaching, instruction and job placement support via a virtual classroom from Monday to Thursday for a total of 13 weeks.

Students will be expected to cover many topics reflecting the rapidly changing landscape of the tourism industry, and will participate in live online learning sessions, self-led online industry certificates, listen to guest speakers, take virtual tours and be involved in participant teamwork.

Also featured will be an online job fair, where graduates can seek new employment to match their newly acquired skills.

“Developed in response to the decline of international tourism and the increase in domestic tourism in 2021, this free full-time online program will support people whose jobs have been impacted by COVID-19, as well as help Thompson Okanagan businesses capitalize on domestic tourism through skills development for the region's tourism labour force,” reads a statement from TOTA’s website.

“This unique and intensive domestic tourism skills training certificate will prepare, and certify, participants for work in the domestic tourism industry immediately, focusing on Tourism & Hospitality Industry Trends, the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Region, Tourism Career & Professional Development, and other required skills to provide exceptional tourism experiences in the Thompson Okanagan region.”

In order to enrol, applicants must be living in the Thompson-Okanagan region, which includes Shuswap, Boundary Country, Similkameen, Gold Country and Nicola Valley.

Eligible applicants must also be at least 15 years of age, currently unemployed or precariously unemployed in casual, seasonal or part-time work, and be legally able to work in Canada.

Permanent full-time employed participants are not eligible for this program.

Priority participants will be persons with disabilities, immigrants, and Indigenous peoples.

For more information visit the TOTA website at: https://www.totabc.org/.

Morgan Hampton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Merritt Herald