Tourism Minister to address industry challenges at Jobs Summit

Tourism Minister to address industry challenges at Jobs Summit

Minister for trade and tourism, Don Farrell, is leading a Tourism Jobs Summit in Canberra today, to discuss ideas for addressing workforce challenges in the visitor economy.

The Summit will bring together close to 100 representatives from tourism industry associations, unions, businesses and academia.

Farrell said an important aspect of the Tourism Jobs Summit is bringing sectors and industries together to collaborate on innovative ways to address workforce challenges.

“The visitor economy, from hospitality to tourism businesses, is still facing significant worker and skills shortages – exacerbated by the pandemic and inaction of the former government – and this is constraining recovery,” Farrell said

“I am looking forward to hearing directly from industry experts and leaders on how we can build a sustainable, skilled workforce for tourism businesses. This includes everything from tackling structural issues within the tourism sector, to how we can attract more people to consider a career in tourism, and building our skilled workforce.

“Australia has some of the most unique and in-demand experiences anywhere in the world. I am committed to doing everything I can to help our tourism industry recover and return to the economic powerhouse we know it to be.”

In preparation for the summit, Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) participated in a series of engagement sessions with Federal Government Ministers.

TAA CEO Michael Johnson said he has used meetings in recent days with several key Cabinet Ministers to ensure the concerns and requests of Australia’s accommodation providers will be front of mind in Canberra next week.

“Clearly, the most pressing issue on everyone’s minds is the need to address the dire labour shortages facing hotels across Australia,” Johnson said.

“In every state and territory there are tens of thousands of vacancies in both skilled and unskilled positions, directly impacting on the ability of hotels to service current needs, let alone future growth in demand.

“TAA has placed a number of practical solutions that we believe should feature in the discussions around how to attract, train and retain the workforce that we require. Among the key options that should be considered include accelerated visa processing, increasing opportunities to employ mature aged Australians and enhanced support for business to engage more apprentices.

“There also needs to be a discussion around the lack of available housing options, particularly in regional areas, and whether short-stay accommodation platforms are facilitating the displacement of long-term rentals.

“We are very encouraged by the sincere approach the new Federal Government has taken to consulting with industry and thank Prime Minster Albanese and his Ministers for their willingness to engage in such a positive manner.”

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