Digital marketing skills and workplace safety are drawing the greatest interest among new and returning members of the hospitality workforce, based on the early response to the new Hospitality EDGE program. With 3 months’ experience running our new workforce development program, some clear trends are emerging. 

Digital and Social Media Marketing Fundamentals is not only our most popular course, it also happens to be the most intensive course on offer. Course content includes reading materials, quizzes and a final assignment and takes approximately 12 hours to complete. The commitment required to get certified in digital marketing doesn’t seem to be a deterrent for participants though, as we have watched registrations and completions roll in steadily over the last several weeks. 

Similarly, corresponding with survey results from this summer, workers continue to prioritize  staying safe at work, with Conflict Management and It’s Your SHIFT (which focuses on creating a safe and welcoming work environment) seeing the second and third highest rates of enrollment so far. 

Spreading the Word

The strategy to get the word out about Hospitality EDGE over the last few months has been broad, activated in close partnership with the City of Toronto Tourism Services Division, Tourism Mississauga and City of Brampton Tourism Unit. Details of the launch have been shared widely within our tourism and hospitality community, and through the expanded network and outreach of employment and social service counsellors at Toronto Employment and Social Services (TESS), local BIAs and other service delivery networks.   

In addition, an aggressive paid marketing campaign is in market featuring paid search, digital ads on Kijiji and LinkedIn, and out-of-home ads, so keep an eye out in areas like TTC stations and bus stops. 

New Courses Added

Within the industry, there has been strong support for Hospitality EDGE. Based on feedback received since starting this project, three new courses are now available through the site, in partnership with George Brown College: Introduction to Hospitality, Business of Hospitality, and Sustainable Tourism. These courses are self-paced with optional virtual live seminars, and take an estimated eight hours to complete. 

Hospitality employers can take advantage of these new courses (and all the courses offered through Hospitality EDGE) both by sharing the Hospitality EDGE course opportunities with furloughed staff to stay connected with the industry, and by sharing with current employees who can use the program to upskill. 

The new courses are linked above, and our full toolkit of social graphics can be found here. As always, please feel free to pass along any feedback or insights you may have. We appreciate all of your enthusiasm and support.