The Federal Government has announced that tourism operators facing increased labour and skills pressures will be offered direct support through a new federally funded $8.5 million workforce development project.  


The new Tourism and Hospitality Skills and Workforce Development Project will aim to ensure that the industry has access to a pool of well-trained and skilled workers who can provide the high quality of service required in the competitive tourism market.


“Up to 2,000 predominantly small tourism businesses will be offered tailored one-on-one help with their future workforce skills planning through a $4.4 million advisory service,” Federal Minister for Tourism Martin Ferguson said.


A further $2.4 million will offer businesses tailored training programs on a co-contribution basis, to ensure their employees training is aligned directed to businesses current and future needs. 


The remaining $1.7 million will enhance the Tourism Employment Plans (TEPs) being rolled out in a number tourism ‘hot spots’ across Australia including regional Victoria, Tropical North Queensland, Kangaroo Island, regional Tasmania, Sydney and Canberra.  TEPs aim to provide tailored strategies to link industry with Government programs to support recruitment and retention of workers in regions reliant on tourism.


“Tourism is a labour intensive industry, to lift productivity and service quality we need to continue to invest in its people,” Minister Ferguson said.


“With an estimated 36,000 vacancies in tourism businesses, the project builds on the Australian Government’s commitments to increase labour supply, which include Tourism Employment Plans and the Seasonal Worker Program trial for tourism.”


The project is being managed by Service Skills Australia as part of the $700 million National Workforce Development Fund (NWDF).