The NSW Government is extending its free refresher courses for the hospitality industry as it looks to address staff shortages across the state.

While venues across NSW are working hard to encourage workers to either begin or re-start a career in hospitality, the Minister for Hospitality and Racing Kevin Anderson said many skilled hospitality staff leaving the industry during the peak of the COVID pandemic is causing staff shortages.

To help the problem anyone whose certification expired from February 2020 can renew their RSA, or RSA and RCG together, for free, until February 2023 without having to retrain in full.

“Many who left the sector have seen their mandatory certifications lapse. We want to make it easy for those people to quickly and freely renew those certifications and remove any barriers that are preventing them from re-entering the hospitality sector,” Minister Anderson said.

“It’s not just bar and wait staff who require a Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) certificate – others who work or volunteer where alcohol is sold also need it, including security, crowd control and promotional staff.

“The same goes for the Responsible Conduct of Gambling certificate (RCG) – if you work around poker machines you need to have specific training to identify and minimise gambling harm.”

Australian Hotels Association NSW Director of Liquor and Policing John Green said pubs right across NSW are still struggling with staff shortages so this initiative is greatly appreciated.

“Reducing red tape makes it easier for those who worked in the industry to come back and pick up a few shifts at their local – we would especially encourage older workers with their years of experience to step back behind the bar,” Green said.

Karl Schlothauer, President of the Independent Bars Association, told The Shout: “The Independent Bars Association welcomes the extension of the free refresher courses.

“Small bars are still experiencing 30 per cent shortfall in staffing levels and anything we can do encourage new and returning people back into our industry are great initiatives.”

Since February this year more than 16,000 people have completed free RSA and RCG refresher courses through Liquor & Gaming NSW.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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