Australia is likely to enter a crisis in the hospitality sector, with The Australian reporting this morning that Austrade says there could be a shortage of as many as 56,000 hospitality workers in regional areas next year.
The answer, according to Austrade in a submission to the Productivity Commission inquiry into labour mobility, is to increase the flexibility of foreign worker 457 visas together with freeing up tourist/backpacker visas.
This “flexibility” includes employers paying “foreign workers ‘market rates’ below the existing $53,900 minimum salary for 457 visa workers.”
Naturally any diminution of Australian workers’ rights will be resisted by unions and workers alike but Austrade says these changes are required to:
“…access overseas labour to address shortages will help to provide a stronger tourism workforce that will help the Australian tourism industry become more competitive, encourage greater investment, and support regional development.”
The message is that if Australians aren’t willing to move to regional Australia to strengthen tourism and hospitality, then Austrade reckons foreigners will fill the void.
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