WA look to UK to help solve labour shortage

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 18th June 2008

In a bid to ease Western Australia’s tourism and hospitality labour shortage, an innovative new online campaign aims to attract young working holidaymakers from the United Kingdom.

It features a dedicated jobs website allowing young UK residents to browse WA job opportunities and send their resume directly to local employers before leaving home.

Tourism Minister Sheila McHale said the campaign was designed to capitalise on young Britons’ keen interest in WA, and their ability and desire to supplement their holiday through work. “One quarter of all United Kingdom visitors to Australia come to Western Australia and account for 25 per cent of this State’s international visitors – that’s more than 166,000 visitors, spending $296 million,” Ms McHale reported. “Coupled with changes to the Working Holiday Program, allowing 18 to 30-year-olds to work in any one job for six months, we believe young Britons can play a bigger role in our State’s tourism and hospitality industry.”

The Minister said the Tourism WA campaign would highlight WA’s excellent job opportunities with good employee benefits, in a range of exciting and unique locations.

The campaign includes a major prize of a four-week work placement at Broome’s Cable Beach Club Resort and online initiatives on popular websites, including My Space.

With the boom experienced by Western Australia over the past decade, the ability for many businesses to find suitable labour has been limited. The issue has become particularly evident in the food and beverage sector with many restaurants and cafes struggling to lure and retain staff, and any plan intended to grow the labour market is welcome news to the hospitality sector.

The dedicated jobs website – http://www.westernaustralia.com/workplay – also provides important information on working in WA and links to relevant sites.