The recreation and parks sector, like other sectors, is facing a critical shortage of workers, particularly on the front line. For a variety of reasons, the result is a reduced capacity to offer programs and services. They include recreation graduates not taking positions in the sector, an inability to retain qualified staff, a lack of access to trained practitioners and instructors, and a lack of facility and trail operators, particularly in rural and northern communities.

As noted above, one of the most critical shortages is in aquatics which impacts swimming programs for learning, leisure, and fitness, as well as lifeguard and instructor training impacting safety around the water for Canadians of all ages. Applying effective workforce strategies will be an important focus for the sector over the next several years. Workforce shortages and the connection to hybrid work also negatively impacts the sector and its ability to serve Canadians, as not all employees want jobs that require them to be there in person.

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