21 December 2017

McGowan Government puts strain on hospitality jobs

The removal of Perth from the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme and the cuts to the State skills list by the McGowan Government have left the Perth hospitality sector experiencing staff shortages during its prime holiday season.

Shadow Tourism Minister Libby Mettam said she was receiving feedback from industry about difficulties recruiting staff as a result of the closure of the RSMS.

“This is the first Christmas season for the hospitality and service industry where the impact of this short sighted and ill-advised move by the McGowan Government is being felt,” Ms Mettam said.

“If it is not appropriately addressed, it will have devastating consequences for the long-term economic prosperity of Perth.

“From a tourism perspective, there is no second chance in making an excellent first impression and as we are set to welcome international visitors on the direct flights between London and Perth it is essential small business has the correct tools to support this; staffing is high on that list.”

Ms said the current State skilled migration occupational list (WASMOL) carried only 18 occupations, none of which were hospitality industry occupations.

“The removal of occupations, such as chefs, has severely impacted the hospitality industry. Chefs can take their skills anywhere in world, we should be encouraging our chefs to broaden their experience overseas and overseas chefs to come here and enrich our sector,” Ms Mettam said.

“The McGowan Government has shackled the hospitality sector with changes to the State skills list and the removal of Perth from the RSMS; reconsideration of these decisions must be a priority for the McGowan government.

“As we see the green shoots of the economy coming through there will also be greater pressure on skills to support a range of industries.

“A skilled work force is fundamental to the sustainability of industry whether it is mining, education, defence, hospitality or the service industry.

“Western Australia needs a policy that aims to build, attract and retain a skilled workforce that is flexible, diverse and responsive to changes in labour market, economic or social conditions – not one that is unresponsive and stifles business confidence and growth.

“Our tourism industry needs the McGowan Government to urgently reconsider this decision.”

Contact Libby Mettam 0422 631990