Skills to Support Australia's Tourism Industry
Monday, 21 November 2011
Joint Media Release with Martin Ferguson AM MP - Minister for Resources and Energy, Minister for Tourism and Chris Bowen MP - Minister for Immigration and Citizenship
The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP, and the Minister for Tourism, Martin Ferguson AM MP, today launched a guide to using the 457 visa program for the hospitality and tourism industries.
The Guide to the 457 program for the tourism and hospitality industries will assist employers to use the skilled visa program and will be backed up by special information sessions.
Mr Bowen said the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) was holding information sessions in all states and territories for interested employers in the tourism and hospitality sectors.
"These sessions, starting in Perth today and running in each capital city through to mid-December, will walk employers through each step of the 457 program," Mr Bowen said.
The announcement follows discussions with industry leaders at the recent Tourism Employment Roundtable, hosted by Minister Ferguson, where migration initiatives were discussed to help meet critical skill shortages in this important industry.
"With the tourism industry contributing nearly $34 billion to Australia's GDP, it plays a vital role in Australia's economic growth," Mr Ferguson said.
"However, despite its strengths, the tourism industry is facing a shortage of skilled labour in regional areas."
Mr Bowen said migration programs represented one solution to the labour challenges faced by industry.
"The 457 visa program provides employers with an avenue to sponsor experienced tourism professionals from overseas. Not only can these professionals fill critical skills gaps, they can train young Australians looking for a career in the tourism and hospitality sectors," Mr Bowen said.
At the recent roundtable, employers highlighted the acute shortages of experienced front-of-house staff such as waiters and sommeliers who are not currently eligible for migration programs.
"My department will work with employers to develop a template labour agreement to facilitate the sponsorship of occupations in demand, including front-of-house staff, on 457 visas. The agreement would be available for employers who can also demonstrate they are training Australians," Mr Bowen said.
Details about the DIAC information sessions are available.
See: What's New for Employer-Sponsored Workers
Last update: Monday, 21 November 2011 at 16:36 AEST