NSW Nationals Minister for Hospitality and Racing Kevin Anderson has joined key stakeholders in calling for the hospitality sector staffing crisis to be a priority at the Jobs and Skills Summit in Canberra.
Mr Anderson said the hospitality sector was one of the hardest hit by the COVID pandemic and as we look to the future, solving the staffing crisis must be a priority.
“I welcome the Jobs and Skills Summit being held in Canberra and am calling on the Commonwealth Government and all in attendance to address the staffing issue in hospitality as a matter of priority,” Mr Anderson said.
“These businesses suffered the most during the COVID pandemic and now, as the community is regaining the confidence to return to venues, we need to find a solution to issues around staffing and empower them to stay open and continue serving their communities.”
Australian Hotels Association NSW CEO John Whelan said the hospitality sector in NSW has been suffering.
“There’s been a chronic shortage of hospitality workers in NSW for a long time , and that’s only been exacerbated by the pandemic,” Mr Whelan said.
“It’s good to see the issue on the national agenda after years of inaction and particularly pleasing to see the AHA representing the hotel sector at the summit.”
Clubs NSW CEO Josh Landis said worker shortages are hurting clubs.
“There are tens of thousands of vacant hospitality jobs across the country and the worker shortage is having a devastating impact on not-for-profit clubs,” Mr Landis said.
“Clubs are crying out for workers, with many having to close their restaurants or alter their opening hours because they simply don’t have enough staff to operate at full capacity.
“This matter is urgent and it requires decisive action by the Federal Government. Overseas job seekers should be allowed to complete their application and appointment process prior to arriving in Australia in order to provide relief to hospitality businesses, fast.
“While we welcome this week’s jobs and skills summit, if we don’t find a solution to get workers here soon, it will have been for nothing.”
Restaurant and Catering Australia CEO Belinda Clarke said staffing shortages are hurting the hospitality sector and has called on the Summit to address the issue.
“The Jobs and Skills Summit needs to come back with practical solutions that will alleviate one of the worst staffing shortages this country has faced in decades,” Ms Clarke said.
“Whilst we’re concerned about the lack of hospitality voices at the summit, we are all still hoping that there will be more action than talk when it comes to tackling this enormous skills and staffing crisis the industry faces.
“We will need to see more support for local jobs as well more support for people looking to come to this country from overseas to work here or we will risk losing more and more businesses and all the problems that brings.”