B.C., Yukon hotels turn to Philippines to fill labour shortage

Lack of skilled workers limits business opportunities, survey
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 11/30/2006

Hotels in British Columbia and the Yukon are developing a housekeeper recruitment program focused on residents of the Philippines to help them fill the labour shortage that is affecting the industry.

A new survey by the B.C. and Yukon Hotels' Association found that many hotel operators are struggling to fill vacant staff positions and these vacancies are contributing to the need to reduce services and lost business opportunities.

The association surveyed its 580 members and the 122 respondents said while they have been using a variety of traditional methods to recruit staff, ranging from newspaper ads to website job boards and recruiting agencies, none of these methods have been that effective.

About 40 per cent of respondents indicated they had increased their staffing levels over the last year. Despite these recruitment activities, these hotels are still trying to fill more than 550 empty positions.

The goal of the new recruitment program is to recruit up to 300 Filipinos early next year and have them working in the province by late spring or early summer.

Almost 70 per cent of survey respondents indicated they have the most difficulty finding enough housekeeping staff while 35 per cent said they have trouble finding front desk staff and 33 per cent said they have trouble finding cooks/chefs.

Labour force specialists predict the tourism industry will need another 84,000 workers between now and 2015.

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