By Clyde Mooney

The Australian Hotels Association (AHA) has criticised the Government's new Labour Agreement template as missing the mark.

The 'Labour Agreement for the Tourism and Hospitality Industry' discussion paper is part of an updated National Long-term Tourism Strategy, Tourism 2020.

The AHA has long lobbied for the template and welcomes its announcement, but argues that it is 'the tip of the iceberg'.

The Association calls for changes to the Skilled Occupations List, pointing out that the identification of industry needs can slip between cracks in regulations.

"Many of the industry's labour needs are in lower level positions which do not fit the minimum skills and qualification requirements of existing working visa categories," said AHA CEO, Des Crowe.

"Overcoming the chronic shortages of labour will require the Government to overturn some of its recent policy decisions that have disadvantaged the industry."

Stakeholders suggest that more attention should be given to policy on visas and the funding of apprenticeships and traineeships.
"The Pacific Seasonal Worker Pilot scheme will provide welcome temporary access to overseas workers from East Timor, with the potential for the program to be expanded at a later date, but more avenues to semi-skilled overseas workers are required to address industry labour shortages."

The Labour Agreement template was created after industry consultation on the need for overseas labour, sponsorship requirements, and questions of regional eligibility.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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