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Australia’s tourism and hospitality sectors in need of talent

Australia is considered one of the best locations for tourism and hospitality. With our unique cultural background and scenery, Australia is the perfect location for many visitors from around the world.

However, as these industries grow and develop, there is a constant need for new talent. This is not only to replace workers moving into retirement, but to support new businesses and ventures which are opening regularly.

At present, Australia has a serious shortage of professionals in the tourism and hospitality sectors and this could hamper the sector’s growth. This fact was highlighted recently in the 2015 Australian Tourism Labour Force Report published by Tourism Accommodation Australia.

Skilled talent shortage

According to the report, to support these two growing industries, an additional 123,000 workers will be required by 2020. To solve this problem, Tourism Accommodation Australia believes there needs to be an emphasis on local recruitment and training such as apprenticeships.

This is the first report of this nature to be completed since 2011. Chair of Tourism Accommodation Australia Martin Ferguson highlighted some the growth areas of these sectors over this period.

“Since 2011, the pace of development in the tourism and hotel sector has increased significantly and, while some positive progress has been made in recruitment and retention, the supply of skilled labour is not keeping up with demand,” he said.

“The massive growth in hotel development will put particular strains on the industry because Australia is competing in an increasingly competitive world tourism market and there is a critical need to enhance service standards.”

Based on figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there were 573,800 short-term visitor arrivals in August 2015 alone. As this number continues to grow, the pressure will increase on both the tourism and hospitality sectors.

The way forward?

As mentioned above, the need for more than 120,000 workers by 2020 means an increased focus on training and career development. However, Mr Ferguson went one step further with this point and suggested that Australia must begin to ‘grow its own’ talent rather than continue to hire from overseas.

“We need to place greater emphasis on attracting more mature aged, youth and Indigenous Australians into the industry,” he added.

One of the primary sources for Queensland’s economy comes from these industries. This means the scope for apprentices and trainees seeking employment in tourism and hospitality looks bright in the years ahead.

By Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator

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