New Skills Micro-Credential Digital Certification Program Launched for Devastated Ontario Hospitality Industry


TORONTO and CALGARY — The Hospitality Workers Training Centre (HWTC) and its project partner, Bow Valley College, announced the launch of Micro but Mighty: Micro-Credentials for a Recovering Hospitality Industry, an Ontario-wide digital certification program to recognize and validate in-demand skills in the hospitality and foodservice sectors.

The program, which is supported by the Future Skills Centre, will provide hospitality and foodservice workers with a quick and easy way to certify attainment of the skills and core competencies that will be critical to the sector’s recovery. It will also help employers easily recognize the achievement of these skills and ensure employees are prepared to support business priorities.

While other micro-credentialing programs exist, this additional cost-effective and industry-driven program will expand choices for hospitality and foodservice workers in Ontario. Program graduates navigating a competitive and rapidly evolving job market will be able to leverage and build their skills portfolio through this accessible digital certification process.

“This is an incredible opportunity for both hospitality workers and employers navigating a post-COVID-19 world,” said Mandie Abrams, executive director of the Hospitality Workers Training Centre. “Micro-credentialing is a quick and cost-effective way to recognize skills that may have been attained outside of traditional training programs, and help employers quickly spot the skills they need to support their business when they are hiring.”

Working with industry employers, HWTC will develop a catalogue of 22 to 25 micro-credentials that, with the support of Bow Valley College, will validate individual skills and core competencies, such as customer service and team leadership. These digital certifications can then be used in conjunction with each other to demonstrate overall proficiency in key skill areas. It is anticipated that 350 to 400 vulnerable and displaced hospitality workers will earn up to 500 separate digital certifications during the first two years of the program.

“We’re thrilled to partner with HWTC on this vitally important program to support the hospitality and foodservices sector,” says Dr. Cheryl Kinzel, Dean, Research and Innovation, Bow Valley College. “Our Workforce Development team has a long history of offering industry-driven skills evaluation and programming covering a wide range of sectors. We have a long-standing and successful partnership supporting the innovative work of HWTC and look forward to further collaborating to bring its vision to fruition.”

Development of the digital certification catalogue is currently underway, with the first micro-credentials expected to be issued later this year.

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