By Morgan Sharp, featured on the Toronto Star – July 9, 2021

With restaurants on long-term hiatus, some workers move on

Marco Chumacero had worked in hospitality on and off since his early 20s and was on the verge of securing a bar manager job at Labora, a tapas bar in downtown Toronto, when it was forced to shut its doors in March last year.

The Spanish restaurant at the corner of King and Spadina has – along with the rest of Toronto’s bars, pubs, restaurants and other sites where hospitality workers earn a wage – mostly stayed close ever since.

And Chumacero, like hundreds of thousands of other young Canadian workers in the industry, has moved on.

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Last year, almost a quarter of workers trained by NPower Canada, a charitable organization that helps underserved young adults launch new careers, came from hospitality, chief operating officer Andrew Reddin said, and they have mostly ended up in IT support jobs.