Queensland Tourism Industry Council CEO Daniel Gschwind says there are 3,500 vacancies in the state’s tourism sector, including 1,200 for chefs. He says there are not enough Australians to fill job vacancies and demands a visa migration program to solve the problem:
Chefs and cooks are included on the federal government’s priority migration list of highly skilled professions, but restaurants, cafes and resorts cannot get enough staff…
Mr Gschwind said… the vacant positions would never be able to be filled with just Australians…
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“There is just not enough locals. We cannot solve it or reap the benefits without a visa migration program,” Mr Gschwind told The Australian Financial Review.
Has the hospitality industry ever stepped back and wondered why it struggles to attract staff? Because if it did, it might notice that it pays by far the lowest wages in the nation:
In particular, cooks and chefs are notoriously poorly paid. According to the ABS, chef annual average earnings (AAE) were only $57,704 in 2018, whereas cooks earned a pitiful $40,596.40. This compares poorly against AAE of $67,012 for all occupations in 2018:
Both occupations are also ground zero for migrant wage theft and exploitation.
Instead of always reaching for cheap exploitable migrant workers, the hospitality industry should try to attract local workers by offering decent pay and conditions. Doing so would eliminate so-called labour shortages overnight.
As long as the hospitality industry continues to offer crappy wages and conditions, labour shortages will remain. It is called a “labour market” for a reason – it too is subject to the laws of supply and demand.
Any industry that relies on cheap exploitable migrant labour to thrive is not a sustainable industry. It needs fundamental structural reform.