HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY NEWS: Surrey Board of Trade Receives Over $250,000 Grant from BC Government to Support Food Sector Reskilling for Hospitality Industry

SURREY, BC – In partnership with Progressive Intercultural Community Services (PICS) and Western Community College, the Surrey Board of Trade has received funding provided by the Government of Canada through the Canada-British Columbia Workforce Development Agreement in the amount of $256,519.00.

“The Surrey Board of Trade is pleased to have received this funding from the Community Workforce Response Grant program, and to continue our work with PICS and Western Community College to deliver this leadership-oriented training and connection to businesses to ensure workforce support,” said Anita Huberman, CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade. “COVID-19 has resulted in many restaurants and hospitality-based businesses needing to shift to providing service digitally. Many individuals face barriers to entering this new workspace, and as a result, this project will help our economic recovery and decrease the labour shortage.”

“Our government’s partnership with the Surrey Board of Trade on this program will help put people to work and address the labour shortage we are facing,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “Our economy will always depend on growing a skilled labour force. This program, combined with our recent $95-million investment in skills training and other skills-focused programs, is creating better opportunities for women, Indigenous peoples, newcomers and those starting their careers here in British Columbia.”


Intercultural Food Service Sector Reboot Training for COVID-19 Business Recovery Project providing 17 weeks of Food Service Management Training, addressing market disruption to the sector from COVID-19, as restaurants, banquet halls and food service businesses prepare for the expected recovery. Project targets unemployed and underemployed individuals with experience in the industry including those from equity groups (immigrants, women, older workers) with management and supervisory skills training, on-the-job training, employment assistance services, and financial supports to secure sustainable employment with food service businesses requiring management skills or post pandemic business recovery. There is a shortage of digitally literate and trained food service managers in BC, with 9,510 expected job openings over the next ten years, as well as 1.5% industry growth. COVID-19 has caused disruption to operations but business are preparing for expansion as the population gets vaccinated and return as consumers of hospitality services. Participants will be suitable for job-openings and increased demand for intercultural food service staff who are digitally literate food service managers, aware of COVID 19 facility restrictions and safe service requirements

“Providing new skills to workers is a much-needed solution for addressing market disruption from COVID-19, “said Raj Hundal, Director of Employment Programs at PICS. “I’m proud to be part of a project that is working with the Surrey Board of Trade and WCC to help businesses transition to a digital economy.”

“This project will deliver a virtually, immersive educational experience for participants to build their skills. To handle the aftermath of COVID-19, we want our participants to learn critical skills they need to thrive in post-COVID economy,” said Gurpal Dhaliwal, President of Western Community College. “Western Community College is proud to partner with both the Surrey Board of Trade and PICS to offer occupational skills training during this difficult time.”


Anita Huberman, 604-634-0342,