Hospitality industry: skills and labour shortages

Wednesday 8 June, 2016

The Hospitality industry is susceptible to labour shortages.

Michael Murphy, Director of Industry Graduates, says this is a combination of a high growth rate, high employee turnover and a vast range of unskilled through to highly skilled job roles.

Business owners and managers all state they are currently experiencing shortages in qualified cooks and chefs, waiters, bar attendants, pastry cooks, café and restaurant managers.

Labour and skill shortages can be broadly attributed to a number of factors;

•             Operational characteristics of the business.

•             Competition for labour from other sectors, especially in regional areas.

•             Lack of recognition of on the job training by employers and also little industry involvement in secondary school and VET sector training.

•             Reduced direct vocational training funding to employers in hospitality and tourism.

•             Changes to immigration regulations (457 visa program), leading to skilled labour shortages.

Some of these causative factors are inherent to the industry, which make them difficult to combat. However, there are avenues of control where industry employers can make a direct impact on skills and labour shortages.

Two ways employers can manage their skills and staff shortages

1.            Vocational training and funding

CCIQ and related associations will continue to lobby government for increases in funding to employers for vocational training, including traineeships and apprenticeships.

However, individual employers can take control of vocational training and the funding available, using this system to train new and current employees and also using it as an effective “funded” recruitment program. Subsidies are available via;

•             Apprenticeship and traineeship funding under the user choice program for new employees into the industry.

•             Subsidised training and incentives for existing employees – Cert III Guarantee and higher skills that can fund professional development and training for current staff.

•             Recruit direct out of a trainee program to eradicate direct recruitment costs.

2.            Hospitality career pathways

Employers, small and large, in the hospitality industry need to work together to create a career pathway that can be marketed to high school students and job seekers.

This needs to include an integrated training system, including secondary school, vocational training and relevant tertiary education.

Industry training needs to be at the forefront of this strategy, but for this to work students need to believe in there is a long-term career available in the hospitality industry.

The following graphic is an example of a professional career pathway.

hospitality program image

Hospitality is a full of opportunity for young people and will continue to be a core growth sector in Queensland. Industry, training organisations and government need to work together to ensure this vital industry growth is not stifled by a lack of future talent.

Hospitality Futures: the official report findings (June 13)

The future of the hospitality industry in Queensland is dependent upon industry and government working together to create the right policy environment to allow the hospitality sector to flourish in a 21st century economy.

Investing in the success of hospitality businesses in Queensland represents a significant opportunity to build upon existing industries and diversify our economy.

Through extensive research and consultation with small businesses across Queensland, CCIQ has identified a number of policy priorities to call upon government to realise a thriving future for hospitality businesses in Queensland.

Join CCIQ’s Kate Whittle and Industry Graduates' Michael Murphy as they discuss the policy solutions required to make Queensland the best place to open a hospitality business in Australia:

1. Make it easier for hospitality businesses to start, invest, grow and employ 
2. Make common-sense changes to fee and licencing structures 
3. Bring an industry focus to training and education 
4. Equip regional hospitality businesses with the tools to thrive 
5. Invest in enabling infrastructure  

Register here 

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