Critical staff shortages ahead of borders reopening

With domestic borders set to reopen the tourism sector is facing a new challenge as demand snaps back at a time when many operators are struggling to find workers.

Tasmania’s tourism industry is bracing for one of its busiest seasons in years when its borders reopen on December 15, but a drastic shortage of workers is threatening to derail the surge in bookings.

To counter the labour shortage across both the tourism and hospitality sectors the Tasmanian Government has launched new online platform Shift Sharer that enables employers to request talent and register their shift vacancies on the portal, while employees can register their availability.

The shift vacancies are then screened by an HR professional who will review the availability and skills of the employee and match them with an employer who has available work.

A fee free referral and introduction will then be made between the employer and employee.

Additionally, Shift Sharer will make it easy for people to top-up their shifts by working across different organisations and connect with employers who are experiencing increases in demand with appropriate staff.

Western Australia is also facing a similar staffing challenge, with calls for measures to entice mature aged workers to return to work.

“There’s ways of incentivising mature and older-age Australians through the tax system, particularly paying respect to the fact that some of them are pensioners and not penalising them because of additional earnings,” said Australian Hotels Association WA chief executive Bradley Woods.

“We’ve made representations to the Australian government about increasing the availability of mature-age workers but also pensioners, and we’re hopeful that those approaches and that engagement will receive due and proper serious consideration.”