Property Council calls for skilled migration to aid shortages across hotel and hospitality sector as borders open

The Property Council of Australia has called upon the NSW Government to welcome more skilled and tailored migration and to further train and promote domestic hospitality jobs to aid large skill shortages across the hotel and hospitality industry as the international border opens. 

Property Council’s NSW Executive Director Luke Achterstraat said labour was one of the most significant costs for hospitality institutions, yet many hotel and tourism industry employers were facing a second squeeze in the form of an industry-wide shortage of qualified employees. 

“During the border closures the hotel and hospitality sector struggled to have enough staff to operate, so now is the time for intervention and aid from our government as we welcome tourists back to our shores,” he said

“Travel and tourism may be up as global levels of wealth increase, but there are fewer qualified hospitality workers across the entire industry, from casinos and cruise ships to restaurants and hotels.

“While overseas arrivals are forecast to reach about 6.6 million by the end of 2022 it is still expected to take until 2025 to reach 2019 levels.”

Mr Achterstraat said before Covid-19, 15 percent of all hospitality staff across Australia were visa holders. 

“Australia’s reliance on migration is all too apparent. As unemployment reaches four percent and Australia’s open job market explodes with activity, our hotels, restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs across our great cities are left to suffer,” he said. 

General Manager of Quest Hotels James Shields said at Quest, they were relieved and excited to have skilled workers landing on Australia soil from this week ahead of what we envisage will be a strong year in travel throughout 2022. 

“Over the past couple of years, we have invested heavily in training and education processes for staff and are in a great place to ensure our people can deliver truly exceptional guest experiences, in line with evolved consumer expectations. 

“However, with the global employment landscape incredibly competitive, as an industry, we’ll continue to call on government support to incentivise skilled workers to choose Australia, knowing that they’ll be supported both personally and professionally.” 

Mr Achterstraat said chefs had now been correctly added to the skilled migrants list, as shortages were now reaching new previously unimagined levels. 

“TAFE and short and medium courses spaces are filled, and fast tracking and additional spaces are not adequate to cope with what must be provided to hotel and hospitality operators,” he said. 

“Australia offers a unique opportunity for chefs but ultimately all migrants, we have a low COVID-19 death rate, high vaccination coverage, and ultra-low unemployment rate. 

“But we need more incentives, the NSW and Commonwealth Governments must partner with hotel operators and identify what critical skilled and semi-skilled migrants are needed most, governments need to provide some solutions and stick to a plan.”

Media:  Aidan Green | E [email protected]