Migration Shake-Up in the Hospitality Industry

The landscape of Australia’s hospitality industry may soon face a significant transformation as the federal government considers a “skill-first” migration shake-up, leaving chefs and cafe managers potentially on the chopping block. Amidst a broader restructuring of the migration system to prioritize in-demand skills and address existing gaps, concerns loom over the impact on local businesses and the workforce.

Proposed changes aim to streamline the list of occupations eligible for employer-sponsored visas, favouring migrants with sought-after skills to address local shortages. However, the preliminary draft of the new job list by Jobs and Skills Australia (JSA) has sparked apprehension among employer groups, notably within the hospitality sector, where crucial roles like chefs and cooks are notably absent.

Representing the Australian Hotels Association, Stephen Ferguson underscores migration’s pivotal role in the hospitality industry’s business model. With thousands of chef positions currently advertised, Ferguson emphasizes the necessity of recognizing the shortage and advocating for the inclusion of hospitality occupations in the revised list.

Inconsistencies within the draft list further compound concerns, with discrepancies evident in the treatment of similar professions. While some roles, like chicken farmers, receive recognition, others, like concreters, face uncertainty despite industry demands.

Amidst calls for revisions, the consultation process remains open, providing an opportunity for stakeholders to advocate for occupations essential to their respective industries. However, the opacity surrounding the list’s construction and the potential for lobbying efforts from various sectors underscores the complexity of the task at hand.

Trent Wiltshire, a migration expert at the Grattan Institute, highlights the challenge of devising occupation lists and proposes alternative approaches, including a salary-based eligibility criterion to ensure flexibility and address evolving workforce needs.

As the hospitality industry navigates the evolving migration landscape, institutions like Brighten Institute Australia are poised to adapt their training programs to equip aspiring professionals with the skills needed to thrive in a changing environment. 

To support the local workforce, Brighten Institute Australia is now offering the Real Skill Hospitality Professional Workshop. This two-day workshop is designed to provide real-world knowledge and skills needed to work in the NSW hospitality industry, giving participants an edge in the competitive job market. Created by industry veterans with over 50 years of combined experience, the workshop ensures that what you learn is authentic, accurate, and relevant. 

In the workshop, you will learn about the local industry and what employers are looking for in potential employees, receive an introduction to customer service, acquire restaurant/food and drink service skills, basic bar skills, learn how to make classic cocktails, and understand how to secure the best jobs. 

With proactive engagement in the consultation process and robust training opportunities, Brighten Institute Australia remains committed to shaping a skilled and adaptable hospitality workforce ready to meet the industry’s evolving demands.

Leave a Comment