As is the case here in New Zealand, demand for staff in the hospitality sector across the ditch has hit record highs in the past two years with staff shortages prompting warnings from unions over potential exploitation of workers brought in to fill the gaps.
Australian media outlets have revealed that high-profile bars and restaurants had embarked on multimillion-dollar overseas hiring campaigns to secure staff such as chefs, sommeliers and front-of-house managers.
Hospitality has been one of the hardest-hit sectors during the pandemic, however, data from major job ads company Seek reveals the extent of the staff crisis hitting the sector. Applicants for hospitality jobs are at a two-year low, with the number of job ads at a two-year-high, jumping 20 percent in February alone. Unemployment figures released recently showed Australia’s jobless rate had dropped to 4 percent, its lowest level since mid-2008.
Those within the industry say it has become impossible to find talented staff locally. Jason Corneby, a former chef-turned-managing director of hospitality recruiter Calibre, said he believes it is due to many skilled restaurant workers turning to other careers during the pandemic’s prolonged lockdowns.