Raising skill levels key to tourism success

4 November, 2015

The latest tourism labour report supports the Australian Government's focus on increasing the number of skilled workers in the tourism industry to take advantage of the predicted growth of visitor numbers.

Senator Richard Colbeck, Minister for Tourism and International Education, today released Tourism Research Australia's Australian Tourism Labour Force Report 2015-2020, which reveals the tourism industry currently faces a shortage of 38,000 workers.

"The industry already provides direct and indirect employment for about one million people but more workers, especially trained workers such as chefs in regional Australia, will be crucial to ensuring the Australian tourism industry can handle the predicted strong growth in traveller numbers," Senator Colbeck said.

"Responding to skill shortages is critical to delivering quality products, services and experiences - it is an important part of maintaining Australia's excellent tourism offering.

"Tourism is a major strength of the Australian economy and it's important that we are in a position to take advantage of opportunities linked with the growth of the sector. The tourism forecasts released earlier this week show that inbound visitor arrivals are forecast to increase 5.9 per cent to 7.5 million in 2015-16.

"The report also found the tourism sector will need an additional 123,000 workers - including 60,000 skilled workers - to meet visitor demand by 2020.

Senator Colbeck said the Government is already focused on addressing skills shortages through the development of Tourism Employment Plans with State and Territory governments.

"We are rolling out Tourism Employment Plans in eight regions around the country which have been highlighted as experiencing recruitment, retention and skills deficiencies. The Plans will deliver targeted and practical measures to address labour and skills issues for the sector.

Australian Tourism Labour Force Report 2015-2020 was commissioned by Deloitte Access Economics and builds on similar research conducted in 2011.

The full report can be viewed at: www.tra.gov.au

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