Some key take outs from the Workforce Shortages Group meeting on 21 July:
NOOSA COUNCIL HOUSING STRATEGY UPDATE:
- Council has endorsed the Draft Housing Strategy which is now open for public feedback, including a survey, until 7 August. Long-term planning reform is needed, along with immediate and short-term actions, with suggestions on how Council can participate and respond to housing issues.
- The Strategy distinguishes between affordable housing and social housing. Council particularly wants to target affordable housing for key workers including hospitality.
- The strategy is not just about more housing, as the Shire has limited capacity.
- Draft Housing Strategy: https://yoursay.noosa.qld.gov.au/draft-noosa-housing-strategy-2022
- Cr Lorentson said all ideas are encouraged to help relieve the worker shortage which is exacerbated by the lack of affordable housing.
- Discussion re recent news of slight improvement in rental vacancy rates in Noosa. Sandy queried whether official data was skewed as people had now moved out of the region due to lack of affordability: Several examples were discussed such as
- staff recently moved to Airlie Beach, and backpackers had moved on as prices were out of their range;
- some staff are still living in caravans – Sofitel is trying to find them inhouse accommodation but this isn’t a long-term solution.
- Backpackers have said they can’t afford to stay.
- 4 staff who had been looking for affordable housing since March have found accommodation, but it appears that others have moved on and are no longer in the region.
- Cr Lorentson: The Noosa Community Notice Board recently had information about some affordable properties, in the $300-$600/week range.
COAST2BAY HOUSING GROUP:
- Coast2Bay Housing is a not-for-profit company that provides affordable, safe housing, and has just opened an office in Noosa. They are a community housing provider and are working with Noosa Council and the Qld Government.
- Apart from new constructions, they also find shorter-term solutions through working with landlords and leases to meet the needs of local employers and fill gaps for workers who need affordable housing.
TOURISM JOBS IN NOOSA:
- Tourism Noosa is developing an online jobs portal for tourism and hospitality jobs in Noosa, to be hosted on www.visitnoosa.com.au – an outcome from discussions of this group.
- We hope to start asking members to populate it with jobs in the next week – they can upload their tourism and hospitality job information for free.
- Direct connection between the jobseeker and the employer – Tourism Noosa won’t have anything to do with the applications.
- Also links to pages with information on training and accommodation – will ask relevant organisations and businesses for information for those pages.
- A button in the footer on visitnoosa.com.au so anyone can find the page.
- Also developing a communications plan to promote it to jobseekers locally and further afield – eg media and social media, and our communication to members, also backpacker sites and hostels.
DESTINATION MANAGEMENT PLAN:
- Cr Lorentson said Noosa Council is doing a Destination Management Plan to look at how tourism can be managed over the next 10 years.
- The plan would look at all sectors of the tourism industry, taking on best practice. Council is keen to engage with the community on the plan.
- Regional Training Qld – School-based traineeships will be starting soon – this is a good resource to find staff who receive appropriate training.
- Welcome to Travel helps international backpackers find jobs by linking them with employers. Employers can join the employment database and post jobs for free.
- Update from Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development – current efforts and support available (via Sandy Bolton MP)
- AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS:
- Labour Force, Australia, Jun 2022
- Unemployment rate falls to 3.5% (Media Release), Jun 2022 https://www.abs.gov.au/media-centre/media-releases/unemployment-rate-falls-35
- Almost a third of employing businesses unable to find suitable staff (Media Release), June 2022
- Almost half a million job vacancies in May (Media Release), May 2022
- Tourism Satellite Accounts: Quarterly tourism labour statistics, Australia, experimental estimates, March 2022
- AUSTRADE (AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT):
- Five Ways Working Holiday Makers Benefit Australia
- State of the Industry 2021: A snapshot of the visitor economy as travel restrictions, traveller hesitancy and workforce constraints continued to have an impact).
- Unique solutions for the visitor economy’s workforce: The following tourism-related occupations saw a large increase in job vacancies from pre-pandemic (March 2019) to three years later (March 2022) Source: National Skills Commission: Internet Vacancy Index, 2022:
- Waiters – vacancies up by 203%
- Bar attendants and baristas – vacancies up by 138%
- Chefs – vacancies up by 64%.
- THRIVE 2030 Strategy: Visitor economy recovery – expanding the workforce is achievable in several ways, including:
- recruiting from under-represented demographics
- reviewing visa settings
- supporting the visitor economy to be a career of choice.
- Technology and collaboration should also help overcome structural workforce issues.
- Tourism Training Australia – Tourism-Hospitality Workforce Development Strategy_Jan22
- Skills and workforce support for your business (Tourism Noosa toolkit)