Australian Venue Co. (AVC) has offered to pay the moving costs of UK chefs and Aussies living in the UK in a major recruitment drive to staff up ahead of extraordinary demand this summer.

AVC’s Summer of Fun recruitment drive will seek to fill 500 jobs targeting Australians abroad who want to return home, and UK chefs looking to make a summer sea change to Australia.

“It’s been incredibly difficult for many Australians to get home, so we’re excited to support a pathway home for Aussies abroad who have hospitality experience,” AVC CEO Paul Waterson said.

For UK citizens, AVC will contribute to the costs for the Employer Sponsored Visa to make the transition to working in Australia as smooth as possible. For some UK residents, this visa allows them to begin the pathway to Permanent Residency.

Successful applicants will have their flights to Australia, hotel quarantine and two weeks of rental accommodation paid for by AVC, and will receive a $1000 drinking & dining voucher.

Paid training will start online during hotel quarantine, to help them hit the ground running.

AVC has also launched a domestic hiring campaign and is offering workers a $1000 drink and dining credit and immediate start paid training, so those in NSW and Victoria can get started while in lockdown, with roles on offer for experienced bartenders, chefs and managers, including those with no experience.

“We’ve got this issue where we have a lack of holiday workers, so we’re taking a two-pronged attack – we’re going offshore to the UK to look for chefs to join us and we’re investing in front of house teams to get ready for what we anticipate will be a really big summer,” Waterson said.

AVC has described the recruitment drive, which will cost the group tens of thousands of dollars, as a huge investment into staff and the recovery of the hospitality industry.

The group is promoting the campaigns on social media, and in just a few days received 250 applications for the domestic roles and 150 from the UK, Waterson said.

The news follows a similar announcement from Endeavour Group liquor stores Dan Murphy’s and BWS which plan to hire 4400 team members for summer, with hundreds of roles available for immediate starts. 

These moves come ahead of an anticipated skills shortage given the absence of overseas holiday workers, the departure of staff from the industry in response to extended lockdowns, pent-up consumer demand post-lockdown, border openings, relaxed restrictions and high vaccination rates and the beginning of the festive season.

“Australians – particularly those in Sydney & Melbourne – are absolutely overdue a good time. We see huge demand every time we come out of lockdown, and we expect this summer to be even bigger. People are ready for some fun,” Waterson said.

“It’s been an incredibly stressful two years for people working in the industry, but I want people to know that hospitality has a bright future in Australia. We’re extremely confident in this summer and we’re hiring people now for it.

“No matter where you are in Australia, your hospitality career doesn’t have to be on hold right now. You can make your next career move today and start now with AVC. Whether you have 10+ years of experience or no experience at all, we have a job for you.”

The Summer of Fun hiring drive is looking to fill roles in major cities and regional areas across Australia across AVCs 170 pub, bar and event venues across Australia.

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