12 September 2007

New Zealand working holiday visas needed to meet growth in hospitality industry

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In New Zealand's tight labour market, the country's bars and restaurants are finding it a challenge to employ enough staff to meet "unprecedented growth" in the hospitality industry. Young people taking up a New Zealand working holiday visa can work to support their travel and living expenses while in the country and the latest research shows that jobs in hospitality should be easy to find.

Over the past five years the sector saw a 20 per cent increase in staff - well above the economy as a whole which showed employment growth of 14 per cent – according to reports published today by the Hospitality Standards Institute (HSI). The two reports considered the growth of the industry and future skill and training needs.

The first report, a profile of the industry, shows the number of hospitality businesses grew by 27 per cent, with more than 4,000 new businesses creating even greater demand for skilled labour. More than 135,000 people are now employed in New Zealand's hospitality industry. The study concluded future labour shortages are likely to result in even greater reliance on immigrant labour.

The second report, An Employment Profile of the Hospitality Industry 2007, studied the demography of employment in the sector. Under-25s dominate, with almost 40 per cent of hospitality industry employees under that age.

For young people with hospitality skills and experience the news is even better. Carol Stigley chairperson of HSI, said they are expecting even greater demand for skilled staff in the industry over the next five years. "The timing for these reports couldn't be better as we're expecting another 13,500 employees to be hired in the next five years through to 2011, and we need to prepare now to be able to help employers manage and support this growth," she said.

HSI chief executive Steve Hanrahan said many employers are changing management styles to successfully recruit and train young staff, including flexible roster options to help support work/life balance issues. This is perfect for young Britons wanting to use their New Zealand working holiday visa to work and play in New Zealand.

Anyone interested in taking a working holiday to New Zealand should confirm their eligibility by taking the New Zealand Visa Bureau's online New Zealand visa assessment.


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