Tourism operators try to be more flexible to attract and retain workers

·2 min read
Officials with the Delta Prince Edward in Charlottetown say the hotel is more accommodating to workers than it used to be.  (Brian Higgins/CBC - image credit)
Officials with the Delta Prince Edward in Charlottetown say the hotel is more accommodating to workers than it used to be. (Brian Higgins/CBC - image credit)

Some P.E.I. tourism operators are trying to be more flexible to help find — and keep — the workers they need.

As tourism season ramps up, many businesses are still short of workers.

Margaret Somers, director of operations at the Delta Prince Edward in Charlottetown, said the hotel is more accommodating to workers than it used to be.

"If somebody was looking to come and work four hours with us a few years ago a day ... that that might not suit our needs. But right now, somebody wanted to come work for four hours on a daily basis, and they were the right individual, of course, we would be able to flex for that. Right. So we're getting more into that flexibility than we ever have."

Transportation and child care are both major issues to finding employees, Somers said.

3-year action plan

Those two issues are addressed in a new three-year action plan launched yesterday by the Tourism Industry Association of P.E.I.

It also suggests priorities of expanded benefits and incentives, increased ability to recruit immigrants and temporary workers, and an emphasis on careers in tourism.

Corryn Clemence, the CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of P.E.I., said it is important for the economy to keep developing the industry.

"There are a lot of great opportunities for not just a summer job but a really meaningful career for people. There's a balance between retention and attraction too, you know, we have some of the best Islanders working in our industry now. So how do we ensure that we are creating an environment that they want to stay in?"

CBC
CBC

Clemence expects the first priority will be to work with operators on benefit packages and compensation.

Chad Heron, CEO of Cows Inc., said the company has raised wages and implemented bonuses. Nonetheless, he expects some employees, especially those in their first job and looking for the right fit, will still leave mid-summer as they have in the past.

'It's still very challenging. I would say we're worried about how this summer's going to go. We're in a good position now but we know attrition is a real thing."

 

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