14 October 2011

Australia visa reform the solution to tourism job shortages says report

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The Australian Government has released a report that confirms job vacancies in the tourism sector and suggests furthering visa reform initiatives.

Australia Visa

The Australian Government says more needs to be done on visa reform to fill shortages in the tourism labour market

The Australian Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson and South Australian Deputy Premier John Rau have released a statement today, responding to the findings of a report by Deloitte Access Economics into the tourism industry labour market.

The report - compiled as part of the National Long-Term Tourism Strategy - found that the industry requires a significant increase in the size of its labour force to meet projected growth.

"There are an estimated 35,800 tourism vacancies across Australia," the report states.

"By 2015, an additional 56,000 people will be needed to fill vacancies, including 26,000 skilled positions".

The report found that recruitment difficulties skills deficiencies and retention difficulties are the "most prominent labour force pressures facing the industry".

The import of foreign workers is listed as a potential solution to the shortage, as well as structured career pathways and better training and integration of indigenous workers.

In response to these findings, the Ministers said the Government should further the Australia visa reform initiatives it has already introduced.

"The actions already being taken by the Australian Government to address these shortages through programs such as the use of 457 visas, extended student visas and the Pacific Seasonal Workers pilot program are justified by this report, but clearly more work needs to be done," Mr Ferguson said.

The report - which was commissioned by the federal Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism - will be used to "shape policy in the future", the report states, indicating that further changes to the Australian immigration system may be upcoming


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