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B.C. hotel industry faces 'dire labour shortage,' with travel restrictions ending soon

Last Updated Jun 4, 2021 at 6:48 pm PDT

Summary

Ingrid Jarrett with the B.C. Hotel Association says there are thousands of job postings all across B.C.

The province's restart plan comes as a relief to B.C.'s hotel industry, hiring will be a significant challenge

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – With COVID-19 travel restrictions set to be lifted in the coming weeks, B.C.’s hotel industry is trying to fill some big holes. The B.C. Hotel Association says the hospitality industry is facing a dire labour shortage.

Ingrid Jarrett with the association says there are thousands of job postings all across B.C.

“Currently, there are opportunities in every corner of the province and significant numbers of them,” she said.

Jarrett says there were 20,000 unfilled jobs, even before the pandemic hit.

“[We had] the most severe labour shortage we’ve ever encountered. We are having a very difficult time finding the number of skilled people that we need — housekeeping, front office, accounting, IT, finance — there’s just so many different components within the hotel sector. We do, in fact, have a very dire labour shortage,” she said, noting operating costs have remained high throughout the pandemic.

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She says hiring will be a huge task.

“It’s going to be one of our biggest jobs, once we get back to actually re-opening, to work with the educational institutions, with high schools, with training organizations,” she said.

Overall, the industry is relieved about the province’s restart plan, according to Jarrett.

“We have a plan with benchmarks that we can all work towards. We’ve been asking for that for many, many months,” she said, adding they have “great hope” as they look ahead to June 15, which is the date travel restrictions are expected to be lifted.

With files from Martin MacMahon