Queensland Looking For 457 Workers
October 18, 2016
Queensland’s tourism industry is relying on overseas workers on 457 visas to meet a major skills shortage.
The demand comes in response to a surge of Chinese visitors to Australia, which has combined with a climbing unemployment rate, particularly in rural Queensland.
The 457 visa has become a tool to meet the shortage of staff and the growth of visitors, with the number of tourists increasing by 12% in the past year along.
Chefs and cooks are in particular demand.
“The skills shortages are definitely now emerging,” Daniel Gschwind said, Chief Executive of Queensland Tourism Industry Council.
“We have shortages in cookery and for chefs and it’s very hard to get them.
The 457s are already playing a part and will continue to do so.”
Mr Gschwind says that a growing tourism industry will only result in further skills shortages down the track.
“It’s not just a career for waiters and baristas,” he said.
“There are 120 different careers in tourism.”
Many are leaving the sector due to unsociable hours, low pay, possible exploitation by some manager and a potential lack of career progression, according to a report done for the Australian Trade Commission.
The industry is also concerned about how the Federal Government’s proposed backpacker tax might impact tourism, whereby foreign visitors would have to pay 33% tax from the first dollar earned.
Many worry this may mean visitors choosing to go elsewhere for their working holiday.
Those working in the industry agree that the 457 has proven crucial.
“I have never been able to find someone from Queensland who meets the criteria, and this is why we hire 457 workers,” said Nicola Robertiello, a Brisbane chef.
“At the moment, the 457 is also needed when you are trying to nail down a specific cuisine and some Australian chefs don’t have the same touch [as] an international chef who is experienced in the cuisine.”