Hotels, motels, serviced apartments and other tourism accommodation providers across the Northern Territory, Broome, Kangaroo Island, Tropical North Queensland and the Whitsundays will be able to employ seasonal labour from Pacific countries and East Timor from 1 July under the three year trial announced in December last year.
The trial builds on the success of the Pacific Seasonal Worker Pilot Scheme which has provided opportunities for 12 East Timorese to gain work and training experience with accommodation providers in Broome.
The Minister for Tourism, Martin Ferguson AM MP, said the announcement of the five tourism regional areas to benefit from the trial will help ease labour shortages where the local tourism industries are dependant on seasonal labour.
“The tourism industry is facing a shortage of some 36,000 workers. Labour shortages are particularly problematic in seasonal areas with small workforces and peak tourist periods such as Australia’s tropical regions in the winter months and Kangaroo Island over summer,” Minister Ferguson said.
“Tourism is a $35 billion industry, and directly employs over 500,000 people many in regional areas. Ensuring the tourism industry has the workforce it needs when it needs it, can be the difference between a regional area having services open or closed to the public during peak season.
“This trial is just one part of the Australian Government’s efforts through Tourism 2020 to help meet labour shortages and build a highly-skilled tourism industry with an even greater focus on workforce planning and professional development.”
Accommodation providers in the five areas are eligible to apply to become an approved employer to employ seasonal workers for 14 weeks to six months. Employers must demonstrate that they have a commitment to employ Australians as a first priority and employ seasonal workers in accordance with Australian work standards.
The Australian Government is entering into partnership agreements with relevant state and territory governments and industry organisations through a Memorandum of Understanding to assist in the roll out the trial with the tourism industry.
21 June 2012