With more than eighty per cent of Tasmanian venues facing staff shortages, the Tasmanian Hospitality Association (THA) is holding a series of hospitality showcase events targeting school students.

The showcases aim to offer students a taste of career possibilities in the bar, barista, chef and front of house rotations and inspire the next generation of hospitality professionals.

The first THA Student Showcase kicked off in Hobart last Wednesday fully subscribed with 320 students and teachers from public, catholic and independent high schools and colleges.

Tasmania is not the only state rolling out strategies to address hospitality skills shortages. Earlier this month, Western Australia announced a $4m interstate recruitment campaign to attract staff from Australia’s eastern states as an immediate measure to alleviate skills shortages across WA’s hotels, pubs, bars, taverns and restaurants.

The Showcase is designed to connect students with leading hospitality professionals, providing them with the opportunity to hear about career journeys, opportunities, and qualifications.

A key component of the fast-paced two-hour sessions is the opportunity for students to get hands-on experience in a range of hospitality rotations, according to the THA.

A recent THA survey showed 84 per cent of venues were facing a shortage of staff and issues with recruitment, and the organisation said engaging young people in the hospitality industry is more important than ever given the how widely this issue is impacting the industry.  

THA CEO Steve Old said the long-term solution to the shortage is getting young people excited about hospitality and providing appropriate training and job opportunities.

“It’s about getting our young people engaged in the industry and making hospitality jobs a desirable, long term career path.

“There’s so many possibilities and avenues young people can explore in the industry and students can get hands-on experience at these Showcase events that could spark a passion for hospitality work.”

The Hobart Showcase is being followed by Launceston and Devonport events.

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