The tourism industry in New Zealand needs 40,000 new workers
The tourism industry in New Zealand has a demand for recruiting 40,000 fresh workers in the next five years. It has to necessarily address the severe labor shortage.
The measures and reality
New Zealand is taking several measures to attract people to tourism careers. A package of initiatives was presented at the Trenz trade show in Rotorua.
Chris Roberts, Chief Executive, Tourism Industry Aotearoa, stated that 40,000 new employees accounting for a 20 percent enlargement in the workforce are necessary to meet the demands of 5.1 million visitors that are likely to arrive as per a forecast by 2024.
The labor shortage is also a serious problem in peak times, and businesses responding to a survey say that they are heavily dependent on migrant labor. Job vacancies exist for chefs, frontline staff, instructors, guides, and managers. 365,000 New Zealanders have already joined the tourism sector directly or indirectly. The country encourages employers in recruiting and training local persons, but they are not available, and also lack the necessary skills.
The tourism industry presently offers low-paid jobs and the work is seasonal. This acts as a deterrent for youths. Many employers are paying a living wage, but some of them are not ready. People need time to adjust their business model to pay better living wages.
The industry plans to overcome the negative image and also run a communications campaign. There will be school programs offering visits to students at the workplace. This will help them to gain a view of the opportunities in the industry. Moreover, it is also necessary, to raise the standard of tourism, in the schools. At present, it appears to be insufficient, low level, and a place to send less capable kids, to get easy credits.
Tourism businesses will get information that is readily accessible regarding recruiting and retaining talent by using supportive and mentoring programs.
As per an estimate of the TIA, the cost of the careers package will be $2m in three years. There are talks with the Government regarding obtaining funds from the $35 levy for each global visitor. It will begin the levy later this year.
There are challenges to find workers to serve in remote locations. Many adventure-tourism operators presently employ an overseas guide in the summer. Some companies are taking up in house training programs to ensure the recruitment of local guides.
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