The global shortage of hospitality workers has officially arrived in Australia. The good news for hospitality workers: your skills are in high demand.
From sommeliers to revenue managers, hotels and restaurants around the country are desperate for staff.
Last year, the Australian Government released a study on staffing shortages across the country.
Accommodation and food services came in right at number one as the industry experiencing the most difficulties finding qualified workers.
According to this study, a huge 38% of hospitality businesses are currently having problems filling positions. Other research from the National Skills Commission shows that the number may even be as high as 61%.
In late October, to address this pressing need for staff the New South Wales Government even went as far as announcing free hospitality training opportunities, offering up to 3000 places in short courses, such as cooking, food handling, barista training and responsible service of alcohol.
This is clearly a difficult situation for hospitality businesses, as they struggle to find enough staff to reopen in 2022, into what they hope will be a period of post-pandemic recovery. On the other hand, there are distinct benefits for workers.
Businesses are scrambling to provide incentives for furloughed staff to come back to work, such as higher wages, bonuses and better working conditions. With so many jobs on offer, there is a world of opportunities for those on the hunt for a career in the hospitality and tourism industry in Australia. The market is in your favour.
Whether you want to step straight into an entry level role, or you’re looking to upskill for a longer-term hospitality career, there are high-demand jobs out there for you in 2022.
Australia will need an additional 6.5 million additional workers with digital skills by 2025, and those workers are badly needed in hospitality and tourism. Hotels, restaurants, delivery services, travel agencies and accommodation providers now heavily rely on apps, big-data, social media and other digital tools that have been widely adopted in the industry during the pandemic. Digital specialists are needed across the board in the hospitality industry to manage everything including data analysis, social media marketing, content creation, cyber security, mobile integration, digital guest experiences and search engine optimisation (SEO). If you have a passion for tech plus food or travel, these are the roles for you.
Chefs and Cooks
Restaurants and hotels around the country are so short on chefs and cooks right now that these two positions have both been added to the ‘strong future growth’ category of the national skills priority migration list. That’s the highest possible listing of demand for any skill set. This means that if you come to Australia to study a culinary course, you will be able to stay here to work as a chef or cook after you graduate.
Hotel Managers and Staff
A recent survey conducted by the Australian Hotels Association showed nearly three in every four hotel businesses were suffering due to a shortage of skilled workers. Front of house staff, hotel managers, kitchen and housekeeping staff are all in very high demand this year, due mainly to ongoing border closures preventing essential migratory workers from being able to apply for these roles. If you’re keen on a career in hotels and want to upskill with a degree in hotel or hospitality management, you will be assured of a fast climb up the ladder in 2022.
Bakers and Pastry Chefs
The shortage of bakers and pastry chefs in Australia predates the pandemic, and has more to do with the traditional hours and the pay grade of apprentice bakers than it does with COVID-19. If you want to pursue a passion for baking and making delicious pastries, you will find lots of work anywhere in Australia. These two positions have also been added to the ANZSCO national skills priority list.
Sommeliers and Specialty Bartenders
Another field of skilled workers in high demand this year are those who are skilled and trained in specialty areas of the beverage sector, such as cocktails. Bars, restaurants and hotels all rely on sommeliers and specialty bartenders to serve unique products, create memorable experiences for customers and develop their brand-specific drinks menus. Knowledge of spirits, cocktails and wines, as well as the beverage industry, forms an integral part of most culinary courses, but you can also get your sommelier certification through a range of independent providers.
During the pandemic, hotels, airlines and restaurants have all felt the impact of cancellations and the need to manage revenue even more effectively. However, at a time of increasing demand, there is also a growing shortage of skilled revenue managers, and analysts across the country. Hotels in particular are anticipating a growing gap needing to be filled by highly-skilled young revenue managers in the coming years.
Business is booming in the food delivery sector in Australia, with the biggest revenue being generated by the lockdown-fuelled take up of restaurant-to-home delivery services. Delivery companies like Menulog are discovering that their rapid growth is now only limited by staffing shortages. If you’ve got access to some wheels and want a lot of work, fast, there are openings there for you.
Late last year the Federal Government announced their list of 150 occupations facing skills shortages. Among aged care and agricultural workers was the role of barista, which is typically the most highly skilled and highly paid cafe position in the job market. Australians love our expertly made flat whites, and we just don’t want to live without them. Cafes around the country are struggling to find adequately trained staff to step behind the machine. Barista has now even been added to the ANZSCO skills priority list as a role with strong future demand.
Front of House
Restaurants, hotels and bars across the country are reporting such pressing shortages of servers and front of house staff that they are forced to reduce their opening hours. According to feedback from the CEO of Restaurant and Catering Australia (R&CA), there are about 100,000 unfilled positions in hospitality businesses right now, and with borders still closed there are just a few people to fill them. Businesses are trying different tactics to recruit new front of house talent, including raising wages, offering flexible hours, hiring inexperienced staff and investing in their training and career development. If you have a passion for hospitality management, it’s a great time to start out in a front of house position. With a degree in hospitality or hotel management you could go far, fast.
Butchers and Smallgoods Maker
Butchers and smallgoods makers select, cut, trim, prepare and arrange meat for sale and supply, managing production processes and operating machinery as part of their highly skilled roles. Right now, there is a huge shortage of butchers and smallgoods makers across Australia, in part owing to the lack of migrant workers due to closed borders. In response, the government has also added these two job categories to the national skills priority list for migration.
A career in any one of these high-demand hospitality roles starts with the right qualifications and training.
Anyone handling food and beverage in Australia needs at least some basic level of qualification. If you want a more senior role as a chef, restaurateur or manager, you’ll need a degree in culinary or hospitality management.