The Australian Labor Party has announced a $48 million tourism and travel package, which includes a $10 million injection into training and skills development for the hospitality and hospitality sectors.
Industry groups Accommodation Association, Australian Hotels Association and Tourism Accommodation Australia, which have long called for additional training funding, have welcomed the commitment.
“As one of the safest and most exciting destinations in the world, it is essential that our accommodation and hospitality staff have the skills and training to deliver exceptional customer service and experiences,” said Accommodation Association President and incoming Accommodation Australia President Leanne Harwood mentioned.
“The statistics speak for themselves – we need to attract, educate and retrain 100,000 hospitality workers after over 40% of our workforce was lost nationwide during COVID.
“This funding will help us work with all training organizations to bring staff back to our resilient industry and help us build a better future.”
Australian Hotels Association CEO Stephen Ferguson said the grant would help the industry hire young and old and retain talent.
“This funding would go a long way toward our goals of attracting mature Australians willing to return to the workforce and share their skills and knowledge,” Ferguson said.
“At the same time, it will help us educate young school leavers about the exciting career options available in hospitality.
“Of course, it is equally important to retain the talent that is already working in the sector. This funding will help our hardworking staff undergo training to learn new skills to support their professional growth and will also help individuals looking to advance their careers within their organizations. »
The announcement was also welcomed by the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC), which said the additional funding will help businesses rebuild their workforce and reconnect with international markets.
“The industry will welcome these new initiatives announced by Labor today and will use the funding wisely to rebuild our $45 billion export tourism economy,” said ATEC Chief Executive Peter Shelly.
“Labour pressure is a long-term issue for the industry and at present it is even more critical as tourism businesses attempt to re-integrate the large number of skilled and unskilled employees. who left the industry with covid shutdowns shutting down operations.”
Shelley said Australian export tourism businesses face a huge challenge in reconnecting with their international markets and restoring confidence in travel to Australia, but this additional marketing funding will help them.
“While this funding is a good start for Labor in supporting the tourism industry, we look forward to bringing these and other opportunities to life should there be a change of government this weekend,” he said. added Shelley.