HOTELS IN WESTERN Australia want Irish workers to fill their employment shortage.
Industry leaders plan to come to Ireland in October to encourage hospitality workers who are under the age of 30 to come to the area for both holidays and work.
As local people choose to work in the more lucrative mining and resources industry, Western Australia has a staff shortage within the hospitality sector and so has been forced to look at other options. As an interim measure, pubs, hotels, restaurants and small bars are looking for Irish people who will qualify for the under 30 working holiday visa.
In the past three weeks alone, 1,300 hospitality jobs – including waiters, chefs, bar staff and housekeepers – have been advertised in Western Australia, says Australian Hotels Association chief Bradley Woods.
“We’d prefer to find local staff but in lieu of them being available we have to look beyond that and Ireland is the perfect market,” explained Woods. “They’ve got high unemployment, an affinity with WA because of the number of Irish people already here and they have the aptitude for the hospitality industry.”
“There are two benefits. Obviously they are tourists so they will be spending money in WA while filling the labour shortage.”
Almost 20,000 working holiday visas have been issued to Irish nationals by the Australian Department of Immigration between 1 July 2011 and 31 March this year – an increase of 30 per cent on the previous year.