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Border change announcement helps but greater support is needed

November 24, 2021 Association No Comments
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Peak industry body, the Accommodation Association, applauds the Federal Government’s announcement of additional changes to international border arrangements from 1 December but warned significant action is needed now to address the extensive skills and staffing crisis plaguing the sector.The Accommodation Association has already launched a number of major initiatives including in partnership with the Federal Government to both attract people back into the sector and boost skills, but President Leanne Harwood said the staffing and skills crisis is real and significant.

Quotes attributable to Accommodation Association President Leanne Harwood
“The skills and workforce drain has hit every level of Australia’s accommodation sector, from management all the way through to F&B and housekeeping. We are a sector dealing with job vacancies set to top 100,000 and, while today’s announcement is welcome, the reality is that 21 months of lockdown has taken its toll on our workforce right across the board.”

“Tourism is critical to Australia’s economic prosperity, and as we head into the peak period for Australia’s hotels, motels and accommodation providers this should be the key moment for the industry to inject some much-needed firepower into the nation’s recovery. However, the reality is that, after almost two years without the core driver of international tourism and with confusion around domestic border shutdowns, the industry has been in hibernation and, as a result, has suffered a mass exodus of great talent which means we are simply not resourced to fully reopen. We need people and skills back at all levels of our properties and we need them back quickly so that we can start to function at full capacity again.”

“We look forward to continuing to work with Government at a State, Territory and Federal level to work together to get back to full speed. Realistically, that’s not going to be until 2022. We also need a consistent approach from the State and Territory Governments on quarantine-free travel for all fully vaccinated arrivals who can show with a current PCR test result that they are COVID-negative.”

The Accommodation Association’s job and skills creation development programs:
The Accommodation Association has developed a platform that has a range of services and programs to set those looking to work in the sector up for success while opening up employment pathways that meet the needs of Australia’s accommodation providers. These include:

  1. The Hub – launching this week, this is a one-stop transformational Hospitality portal for employers, job seekers, consultants with streamlined processes, forms and tools for anyone to use so that the matching of individuals to job and career opportunities is even faster and easier. It will also provide a unified job Board for the sector.
  2. The Gappa – launching this week, this is a gap year experience for anyone but is targeted at young adults who are encouraged to take their gap year in their own backyard and make money doing it while working anywhere in the country for a year.
  3. Train2Earn – our hugely successful direct training program which provides a short, intensive 3-day immersion training with a job interview at the end. This is already tracking at a 94% employment outcome.
  4. Our PaTH Business Placement Partnerships programs which provide all jobseekers who complete training with a guaranteed 4 week live and practical internship in metro and regional venues nationally. These programs have an 80% employment success rate and provide the core basic skills to start a career in the sector. As part of this and in line with the sector’s commitment to creating an inclusive workforce, there are also dedicated DES programs to run in a hotel environment with a supported PaTH internship and employment support package.
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