13 March 2008

Skills shortage in hotel industry creates demand for Australian immigration

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A growing tourism sector in Australia is exacerbating skills shortages and boosting demand for skilled immigrant labour, which could in turn lead to greater Australia immigration.

And the one of the sector's leading trade associations has warned that demographic changes in the country are likely to mean that the shortages continue for at least a decade. Australian Hotel Association (AHA) director of national affairs Bill Healey warned: "Attracting and retaining staff is a challenge for businesses across the board - not just hotels.

"Hotels have recognised this and as a result, many of them are adapting their recruitment practices, work systems and training schemes to increase productivity and reduce the level of turnover in the industry."

Wages in the sector are already high, limiting the hospitality industry's ability to address labour shortages by increasing pay, as is being done in some other sectors. Growth in the Australian tourism industry means that the country will need an additional 16,000 hotel rooms in the next ten years, the AHA claims.

Those considering obtaining an Australian visa may be interested to know that the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union (LHMU), which represents workers in the sector, is shortly to launch its own proposals for the future of the industry.

Australia needs skilled workers: Anyone applying for an Australian visa should begin by completing the Australian Visa Bureau's online Australian visa application to see if they meet the Australian visa requirements.

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