TOURISM INDUSTRY: VISA CHANGES WILL HELP TO PLUG SKILLS GAP
Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) Australia has praised the Australian Government for the timely visa reforms announced today which will allow skilled migrants to remain in Australia and to continue working in critical sectors like tourism and hospitality which are battling major skills shortages.
TTF Australia CEO Margy Osmond said the changes included allowing around 20,000 migrants who stayed in Australia over the pandemic to remain in the country and with a pathway to full Australian citizenship and followed strong TTF advocacy on fast-tracked visa reforms to address major skills shortage challenges.
“This significant visa policy decision will greatly assist in maintaining critical skills over the short term while both additional skilled and casual worker migrants are sought and more Australians are reattracted to and retrained in our sector,” Margy Osmond said.
“These eligible skilled migrants already in Australia will now be able to continue to support our local businesses facing critical shortages which is an excellent base on which to build further reforms and support into next year and beyond.
“A recent national survey of over 500 businesses – from both tourism and other industry sectors – conducted by SEC Newgate Research for TTF, showed that one in three of our tourism reliant businesses let staff go during the pandemic and were now struggling to fill positions to cater for their customers.
“The lack of working holiday makers, students and skilled visa holders has been largely responsible for the ongoing skills gap, and we thank the Federal Government for listening to our sector and making appropriate changes which will go some way to assisting businesses to find enough staff to cover the upcoming holiday period.
“Put simply, after losing over 600,000 staff during the pandemic the lack of skilled staff is now the number one issue for tourism operators large and small.
“Full marks to Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Minister for Immigration, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs Alex Hawke for this agile response which maintains a base on which to reskill our tourism, hospitality and aviation industry as we continue to rebuild and recover.
“We will continue to work with the Federal Government towards further skilled worker support as well as on the return of more international tourist markets before Christmas as planned, following recent positive announcements on Singapore, Japan and Korea.”
Contact: TTF Manager Policy, Media & Government Relations Lindsay Hermes firstname.lastname@example.org 0418 948 447