Australia is looking for immigrants to come work in their hospitality and tourism industry. The hospitality industry has struck a deal with the Federal government last month to make it simpler to bring in foreign employees via the 457 skilled migration visa programs.
Following the deal, the hospitality sector is seeking to lure a number of overseas chefs, cooks, waiters and other staff to Australian restaurants.
Restaurant & Catering Australia said it had reached an “historic” agreement to address “chronic labour shortages gripping the hospitality sector”, which involves lowering the temporary skilled migration income threshold by 10 per cent.
“This moderate concession means it will be more feasible for operators to hire overseas workers, should they be able to demonstrate they have experienced prolonged vacancies in their businesses,” John Hart, R&C A chief executive, said last month.
Under the Restaurant (Fine Dining) Industry Labour Agreement, operators will be required to meet criteria to access skilled migrants, including having an ‘a la carte’ menu, having uniformed staff and a maître d’ and industry recognition through award programs. The agreement also outlines the skills, qualifications and English language requirements needed to work in Australia.
It is believed the sector is currently facing an industry-wide deficit of 56,000 employees. During 2014-15 fiscal year, the food services and accommodation industry was the major user of 457 short-term work (skilled) visa program, with 4,350 applications issued. Cooks, restaurant and cafe managers, and chefs ranked in the first 15 nominated professions for primary applications in that year.
Tourism injects around $40 billion a year into the Australian economy and the Federal government hopes this labour agreement will address the labour and skills shortages impacting on the industry’s competitiveness.
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