Skilled staff vital for continued China growth: TAA

Skilled staff vital for continued China growth: TAA
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A higher level of skilled workers is required by the tourism industry if it is to continue growing the all-important Chinese market, says Tourism Accommodation Australia.

TAA chair Martin Ferguson welcomed new that the number of Chinese visitors hd broken the one million mark over a 12 month period for the very first time – an increase of 21.6%.

However, he stressed that for Australia to remain attractive and continue to grow within the increasingly competitive international marketplace, it would need to offer the “highest levels” of service.

“The Federal Government has rightfully identified tourism as one of five major National Investment Priorities, but a recent report on the Australian Tourism Labour Force identified that the industry would need some 123,000 additional workers, including over 60,000 skilled positions, by 2020 if we are to keep up with demand,” he said.

Ferguson said the hotel industry is in the midst of its “largest expansionary phase in decades” delivering the quality levels necessary to cater to the Chinese market. However, he stressed that delivering staffing and service standards is just as important.

“While hotel groups are doing their best to recruit and train, a combination of outdated industrial relations conditions and restrictions on temporary skilled migration is holding back the industry’s potential to grow employment and enhance service standards,” he said.

“We would call on the government to act urgently to address these issues to ensure operators can access skilled staff to provide high quality service standards.”

In addition, Ferguson urged the Fair Work Commission to put an end to “1950s industrial relations conditions” as per the recommendations of the Productivity Commission in order to benefit “both tourism businesses and workers”.

“When international visitors come to this country they – just like Australians – expect to see restaurants, shops and attractions open across weekends and on public holidays,” he said.

Main image: iStock

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