Our mission is to work with Toronto’s hospitality employers and workers to train, support and strengthen the industry’s valued workforce.

The Hospitality Workers Training Centre [HWTC] is a non-profit organization working in Toronto’s hospitality and food service industries. Based on a sector-focused workforce development approach, HWTC provides free of cost training to new entrants and existing workers for employment and career development. Our goal is to strengthen the workforce of our city’s hospitality industry by connecting people in need of employment to job opportunities – through high-quality training and strong partnerships with the industry.

Training is designed to both meet the needs of industry and to build skills and opportunities for the Hospitality workforce. We help people access jobs in Hospitality and ensure that those currently working in Hospitality get the training they need to advance.

We were created as a partnership between the Hospitality Workers’ union (UNITE HERE Local 75) and major hotels in Toronto and modeled on the Culinary Training Academy of Las Vegas.


Who do we Train?

People New to the Hospitality Industry:

We help people new to the Hospitality industry get vocational training, workplace education and employment support to help them get jobs in Toronto’s Hospitality industry.

We regularly hold Information Sessions about our upcoming courses and we recruit participants from partner non-profit organizations.  Our trainees come from a wide range of backgrounds including people who are unemployed, those transitioning from other industries, people looking to get Canadian work experience and many others.

Current Hospitality Workforce:

Our training  programs for current the Hospitality workforce provides skills that support individuals’ advancement and mobility and help them access more hours and gain transferable skills. Also, we regularly offer computer and English classes at Hotel and Food Service properties to help build skills that support career and life goals.

Why an Industry-Based Approach?

Research shows that industry-based employment models that provide training and skills in a focused sector benefits both for the workforce and employers:

  • Training programs are linked to real employment needs as identified by industry
  • The definition of training expands beyond ‘direct’ job skills, so that other kinds of classes like English, computer skills and retirement planning can be offered to the workforce
  • A growing body of evidence suggests that sector-specific initiatives linked to advancement opportunities (“career ladders”) deliver better outcomes for  job-seekers and industry

As an industry-based employment solution we are committed to evaluating and sharing the outcomes of our work.

Why the Hospitality Industry?

People are the backbone of the Hospitality industry. Training initiatives build the workforce’s skill levels and ensures that Toronto’s  hotel and food service industries will continue to thrive.
Toronto’s Hospitality industry is large and growing.

  • Toronto has the 6th highest hotel occupancy rate in North America
  • We had over 14.03 million overnight visitors to hotels in 2015 [Tourism Toronto, 2015]
  • Toronto CMA has 19,000+ tourism related businesses employing 329,000 people [Canadian Business Patterns Dec. 2013; Labour Force Survey 2013]
  • Visitors to Toronto spend $5.4 billion at tourism related businesses in 2010. [Ontario’s Tourism Regional Economic Impact Model, Ontario Ministry of Tourism]
  • The city is projecting a 45% increase in employment by 2025 and with that there is concern that significant skills shortages are on the horizon.

As a bridge between industry and the workforce, we are well positioned to address skills shortages and provide training that creates pathways into Hospitality.

What Skills?
  • Hands-on training providing skills that industry partners have identified as in-demand. We have successfully piloted Room Attendant, Banquet Server and Kitchen Steward training and plan to expand our programs as new needs are identified. Part of this training happens at Hawthorne Food & Drink, our innovative social enterprise training restaurant.

  • Cross-training programs that help people already employed in the Hospitality industry advance, build transferable skills, increase their earnings and opportunities.
  • Programs like language and computer classes that take place right in the hotels to make them accessible and convenient. These classes help enhance both the careers and lives of those employed in Hospitality.
  • Transferable Skills. Many of skills that are core Hospitality work are applicable to other fields including: customer service, organization, problem solving and working in a dynamic environment . Hospitality work experience opens doors to many other careers.