Restaurant and Catering SA want chef and other culinary occupations placed on the Skilled Occupations List.
19 November 2012
Restaurant and Catering SA calls for Australia visa easing
Restaurant and Catering SA, the main culinary industry body in South Australia, has said Australia visa requirements have left almost 150 of the state's restaurants short of staff.
Sally Neville, chief executive of Restaurant and Catering SA has appealed to the state government to relax Australia visa restrictions to allow more chefs and cooks to move to Australia.
"The problem began when the Federal Government took cooks and chefs off the skills-in-demand list, which allowed people to come to Australia easily," said Ms Neville.
"The only way now is to get people here using the temporary 457 short term working visas."
Ms Neville says the 457 visa stream requires restaurants to pay foreign staff members considerably more than the equivalent Australian restaurant worker and says culinary occupations should be placed back on the Skilled Occupations List.
"The government needs to put these workers on the skills in demand list and relax language requirements."
In her report sent to the state government, Ms Neville says the state's restaurants are under staffed by 140 chefs and cooks and over 100 managers.
Ms Neville says language requirements can be proved redundant when it came to cooking and chef occupations as often the staff do not deal with members of the public.
"If a specialist Cantonese chef is working in a specialist Cantonese kitchen, they may not need the level of English language skills with the immigration department requires."
The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people lodge applications with the Australian Embassy.