New South Wales government offers free hospitality courses to address ‘critical’ workforce shortage

The NSW government has announced a major measure to support critical staff shortages in the hospitality industry following the impact of the statewide lockdown and closures of borders.

The NSW government has announced thousands of free training opportunities to address ‘critical’ staff shortages in the hospitality industry.

Up to 3,000 people will be able to study in 29 different courses at TAFE NSW and other registered providers, including barista training, safe food handling, responsible alcohol service (RSA) and introduction to cooking classes.

Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet said free training would help attract more workers to reception places as the state recovers from the pandemic.

“People from all over the state are lining up to enter pubs and clubs and we want to support these businesses with enthusiastic and qualified staff,” he said.

“We know companies are struggling without the international workforce they depended on before the lockdown. This is why opportunities like this are so valuable, filling labor shortages and providing applicants with job opportunities for a bright future in the hospitality industry. “

The hotel industry faces a serious labor shortage as New South Wales revives its economy for the first time in more than three months.

Restaurant & Catering Industry Association CEO Wes Lambert told Sky News host Chris Kenny there was a “critical labor shortage” in the country.

Of the 220,000 job vacancies listed on the SEEK job site, 85,000 are in the hotel industry.

“This means that almost 40 percent of all jobs at Seek are hospitality jobs,” he said.

Mr Lambert said the shortage of hotel staff was due to the closure of international borders which saw international students, skilled migrants and working holidaymakers excluded.

“We certainly need these international borders reopened because many of these positions – barista, bartender and waiter – about 53% of unfilled jobs, certainly we would like young Australians to take those jobs.

“In the long term, we need more Australians for hospitality internships and apprenticeships.”

Mr Lambert added that wages in the hotel industry “are skyrocketing” due to labor shortages and demand for skilled workers.

“We hear about some companies paying $ 40 an hour for positions that are normally in their twenties and signing bonuses.

“Certainly, this shortage has resulted in an increase in wages which will ultimately lead to an increase in menu prices.”

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