Australia’s $47.5 billion tourism and accommodation industry will experience a serious skills shortage over the next five years without more qualified professionals joining the sector, warns the industry’s peak body.
Carol Giuseppi, CEO of Tourism Accommodation Australia, said the Austrade’s Australian Tourism Labor Force Report 2015 – 2020 shows the sector will grow significantly over the next five years and needs to attract more young talent to fill the predicted skills gap.
“As an industry, we got together to do something about the gap. We’re hosting the first Hotel Career Expo on 16 May to bring awareness of the rewarding, exciting and professional careers available in the sector.
“With the Hotel Career Expo we are reaching out to high school, TAFE and university students, as well as young professionals, to bring them face to face with the leading hotel brands of Australia who have exciting career options available and are looking for talent,” said Ms Giuseppi.
Backed by the NSW Government, the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events, Stuart Ayres has thrown his support behind the Hotel Career Expo to ensure the industry can attract high quality candidates to the sector, to help NSW maintain its competitiveness as a tourism destination.
“People working in our hotels are at the frontline of our brand as a global city and as a state. The interactions our visitors have with them are the most important they will have during their stay.
“With growth forecasted in the NSW hotels industry, this is a great time to get into a sector. It’s a career path which offers strong management pathways, internationally renowned training and its own industry rewards,” said Minister Stuart Ayres.
Ms Giuseppi said NSW has thousands of talented young people graduating every year, who are looking for careers.
“They often don’t realise the full reach of their chosen field, for example, engineers might not look further than the mechanical and mining industries for jobs and accountants may only focus on accounting firms and banks.
“However, the accommodation industry has a great need for all types of professionals from engineers, to accountants, to human resources and general business managers. Not to mention PR, sales and marketing professionals. Successful hotels need lots of smart, ambitious professionals to keep the tourism industry thriving,” said Ms Giuseppi.
Ms Aditi Sood, Shift Engineer, Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney is the hotel’s first and only woman to work in the technical engineering department.
The 29-year-old completed her Bachelor in Electronics and Communication Engineering at Himachal Pradesh University, India. Whilst completing her Master’s degree at University of South Queensland, a friend suggested she look at a career in the hotel industry and she has never looked back.
Ms Giuseppi said the Hotel Career Expo aims to ensure that more people like Ms Aditi Sood find out about the different opportunities available to them, so that they can make educated choices about their career paths.
“The accommodation industry is one of the most supportive environments for helping people develop both professionally and personally.
“This is demonstrated by members of TAA, such as IHG, offering programmes like Holiday Inn Express ‘GM Express’ Future Leaders Program, which upskills individuals and supports employees as they develop into general managers,” said Ms Giuseppi.
The Hotel Career Expo will be held on Monday 16th May, InterContinental Sydney. It will provide students and graduates a gateway into the hotel industry, contact with the leading hotel’s HR and recruitment teams, graduate programs and more.