The Western Australian Government has announced two key programs with over $8m in combined funding to address staffing shortages in the state’s hotel and hospitality businesses.

The McGowan Government has committed almost $4m over the next two years to the Tourism Workforce Development Program, which will fund short-term programs to address the current shortage of workers while also building a pipeline of talent for the future.

Many of the programs have a focus on connecting local people with local jobs across the State.

WA’s Tourism Minister Roger Cook said: “The tourism and hospitality workforce is the backbone of a thriving industry.

“Supporting businesses with filling job vacancies, helping to retain workers and upskilling job seekers is essential to the industries’ success and a high priority for the McGowan Government.

“This program will lead to more workers being trained to fill immediate vacancies while also building a pipeline of talent for the future.

“This will have a flow-on benefit to visitors to ensure we continue to deliver a world-class visitor experience.

“We’re focused on maintaining a strong workforce into the future which is central to all of the initiatives being funded through this Package and critical to growing the tourism industry.”

In addition the first phase of the McGowan Government’s new hospitality and tourism recruitment campaign, called Discover the Other Side, will launch in coming weeks.

Premier Mark McGowan said: “Summer is the busiest time of year for our local hospitality and tourism industries, so the timing of this campaign is critical to help attract young workers to WA.

“With our strong and thriving economy, relaxed lifestyle and great attractions, there’s no better time to make the move to WA and work in these high-demand industries.

“As someone who relocated to WA for work in my twenties and has remained here ever since, I can safely say it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”

The Australian Hotels Association WA has welcomed the ‘Discover the Other Side’ recruitment campaign and the ‘Tourism Workforce Development Program’, with CEO Bradley Woods saying both will be welcomed by venue operators across the state.

“Addressing labour shortages is currently the number one issue for those running hotels and hospitality venues, so it is encouraging to see the WA Government allocating resources that match the scale of the problem,” Woods said.

“As the world emerges from COVID-19, the global competition for skilled and unskilled workers is fierce, so it is critical that WA puts its best foot forward through a targeted recruitment campaign.

“The portal, a joint initiative between Tourism WA and the AHA(WA), will be promoted to interstate and New Zealand workers, showcasing the incredible career opportunities available in WA’s hotels, bars, pubs, taverns, restaurants, and tourism businesses.

“Complementing the recruitment campaign is substantial funding towards short-term training programs that will equip local residents as well as interstate and international arrivals with work-ready hospitality skills.

“Hospitality and tourism employers have long advocated for greater investment in fundamental and practical skills such as barista courses, RSA training and customer service, all of which will be delivered as part of [the] announcement.

“The AHA also welcomes [the] announced changes to WA’s migration program settings, which will make it easier for skilled workers to migrate to the state and take up opportunities in the hotel and hospitality industry.

“Addressing the shortage of skilled and unskilled workers in WA’s hospitality industry will take time, but we applaud the actions taken by the McGowan Government, which shows a strong commitment to tangible action.”

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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