Published on May 16, 2017

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Tourism and Hospitality Labour Shortfall

The Hunter Valley relies on a motivated and skilled tourism and hospitality workforce which is vital to the continued growth of our area.

However, the New South Wales Business Chamber recently announced NSW tourism and hospitality industries are facing a shortfall of skilled workers over the next several years.

The Chamber stated in their March 2017 NSW Visitor Economy, ‘On the Move Mid-Term Report Card’ that the sector looks to have a shortfall of some 30,000 skilled workers nationally by 2020.

A shortfall currently exists in a number of professions across NSW including the tourism and hospitality sector.

Addressing vocational training is on the top of the list, with many employers finding applicants lack the right skill base to fill positions.

Hospitality also suffers from an image problem.

Perceptions of careers in the industry also need reworking. Hospitality is often seen as stop-gap work with no meaningful future.

Employees may struggle to find value in their work, and the industry has long suffered from an image problem brought on by some operators paying low cash wages and offering poor working conditions.

Such an image can lead to low social value for hospitality work and a disregard for the need for quality training.

Without a commitment to changing the perception of the industry, this shortfall will continue to grow even as we hope to capture a broader segment of the tourist market.


What we can do

The provision of training opportunities in hospitality, tourism and retail provides a path to a future in the region for young people so they can plan their future in the Hunter region.

“Tourism is going to be a huge future growth industry, but more importantly it will have the growth in jobs as well. If any business in the Cessnock LGA is looking for highly trained and skilled young people with experience, for full-time, part-time or casual work, please call me direct on 4993 4257.

Cessnock City Council’s ‘Youth First’ Initiative provides vocational training for local youths, leading to the acquisition of skills in a vital regional industry.

For information on how your business can benefit from Cessnock City Council Economic Development Unit’s ‘Youth First‘ Initiative contact Jane Holdsworth on 02 4993 4257 or email

To read Destination NSW’s Travel to the Hunter report go to The Hunter.

To read the NSW Chamber report in full go to NSW Chamber On the Move.

*Includes Port Stephens Local Government Area.

Cessnock City Council is urging local business owners to attend a FREE workshop aimed at breaking down barriers between Cessnock’s workforce and millennials, generating opportunity for young people and business

To register please visit