17 July 2012
Tourism businesses facing labour and skills pressures from the resources boom will be offered direct support through a new $8.5 million workforce development project. Minister for Tourism, Martin Ferguson AM MP and Minister for Skills, Senator Chris Evans, today launched the new Tourism and Hospitality Skills and Workforce Development Project.
Minister Ferguson said that the future success of the Australian tourism industry depends on government and industry working together to ensure well trained and skilled workers can provide the high quality of service required in a competitive tourism market.
“Up to 2,000 predominantly small tourism businesses will be offered tailored one-on-one help with their future workforce skills planning through a $4.4 million advisory service.
A further $2.4 million will offer businesses tailored training programs on a co-contribution basis, to ensure their employees training is aligned directed to businesses current and future needs.
The remaining $1.7 million will enhance the Tourism Employment Plans (TEPs) being rolled out in a number tourism ‘hot spots’ across Australia including regional Victoria, Tropical North Queensland, Kangaroo Island, regional Tasmania, Sydney and Canberra. TEPs aim to provide tailored strategies to link industry with Government programs to support recruitment and retention of workers in regions reliant on tourism.
“Tourism is a labour intensive industry, to lift productivity and service quality we need to continue to invest in its people,” Minister Ferguson said.
“With an estimated 36,000 vacancies in tourism businesses, the project builds on the Australian Government’s commitments to increase labour supply, which include Tourism Employment Plans and the Seasonal Worker Program trial for tourism.”
The project is being managed by Service Skills Australia as part of the $700 million National Workforce Development Fund (NWDF).
Senator Evans said the National Workforce Development Fund enables businesses to partner with Government to train and upskill staff in areas of skills shortage.
“We know the jobs of tomorrow will demand higher skills,” Senator Evans said.
“Our priority is to work in partnership with industry to ensure Australians have the skills they need to fill the jobs of the future.
“In total, the Government is now funding 1,451 tourism training places under the NWDF, 69 per cent of those in small businesses.
“Today’s announcement means more Australians will have the opportunity to train and upskill in the skills industry is looking for.”