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Centennial College adopts 'It's Your Shift' sexual violence and intervention training

It's Your Shift Training and Awareness Program Poster

Centennial College's School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts is integrating the industry's "It's Your Shift" Sexual Violence and Intervention Training program into its own curriculum to ensure its hospitality students are equipped to identify and intervene in instances of sexual violence and harassment in the workplace.

It's a timely issue. The hospitality industry employs 450,000 people in Ontario and many are frontline workers in restaurants, bars, hotels and motels who may witness a patron who is at risk of sexual violence or harassment. Because the industry employs a large number of youth, females and newcomers, many employees are also vulnerable to sexual violence and harassment in the workplace.

"We feel strongly this certification is valuable and significant for our graduates to enter the industry with the awareness and ultimately the confidence to handle sexual harassment challenges they may face in the workplace," says Amanda Tarrant, Manager, Strategic Operations, at the School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts. "These tools will be embedded into our curriculum and reinforced during field placements in our operations at The Local Café and Restaurant, and Event Centre."

SHIFT training, which is available online at no cost to all employees in the hospitality and tourism industry, includes five online modules with a dedicated module for supervisors, managers and owners, along with job aids, resources and guidelines for the workplace. The program was developed by the Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association in collaboration with Tourism HR Canada (THRC) and Ontario Tourism Education Corporation (OTEC).

"It is essential that we prepare students, who are our future workforce, with the skills and knowledge they need to create the zero tolerance workplaces of the future," says Victoria Behune President & CEO, Ontario Tourism Education Corporation. "Centennial College is leading the way in understanding that this is an important issue and should be part of their students' toolkit as future hospitality leaders. OTEC is extremely proud to have developed this timely training program and to partner with Centennial College to make It's Your Shift available to its students."

SHIFT training is seen as instrumental in changing the culture within the hospitality and tourism industry. Starting in January Centennial will be integrating SHIFT into all full-time hospitality programs so that every graduate will receive all the online training and retain the certification. Integration of this new industry resource better equips graduates to be strong leaders in creating healthy and inclusive environments in the workplace. The training modules are available online at www.itsyourshift.ca.