The Big Short! The Training Future of Hospitality Staff

It has been well documented that the Queensland hospitality industry will have a significant staff shortage (9,000 staff) once the Queens Wharf Casino precinct opens. Perhaps the pandemic is a forerunner to what South East Queensland may experience in 2023.

Building capability and quality in our hospitality workforce presents a serious challenge to our industry. DWS Hospitality Specialists empirical research shows that the drivers influencing the skill shortage are perception of limited career pathways, a lack of support for professional development, long hours, weekend work and poor recruitment practices.

You only need to look to Woolworths and Hilton Hotels for some great examples of workforce proofing. Both these organisations offer internship and graduate programs. The programs attract budding young hopefuls with the promise of education and a strong profitable career. The future job security provided by these programs attracts great talent and secures the workforce for these organisations. Another less high-profile example of talent proofing is seen with Chempro.

Chempro is an Australian based pharmacy chain with over 80 stores located in Southeast Queensland and New South Wales. They solved the pharmacist skill shortage by establishing a career progression framework and tapping into the government funded School Based Traineeship program. They did this by offering year 11 students the opportunity to enter a school traineeship, combining their final two years of school with their new career in pharmacy.

A little closer to home, School Based Traineeship programs have been a proven, strategically viable way of future proofing the work force in the club industry. Arana Leagues Club, LIONS@Springwood, The Club at Parkwood Village, Keppel Bay Sailing Club, Greenbank RSL and Hervey Bay RSL to name a few. These clubs have been running School Based programs for many years, with some clubs having 50% of their workforce made up of past trainee students.

Chairman of DWS Hospitality Specialists, John Dickson, says “challenges stem from the resistance by some venues to invest in training of their teams and not providing a documented career progression. Therefore, many staff see the hospitality industry as a steppingstone to another career”. Further to this he also mentions “there is a need for a broader range of career path options so that capable and experienced team members can progress into supervisory, mentoring, or other leadership positions.”

Considering the significant staff shortages predicated, exploring stakeholder views on implementing industry lead vocational training frameworks, should be considered by Club, Pub or Hotel industry organisations. Certainly, the School Based Traineeships program is available now and can be conveniently rolled out to any venue looking to consider it.

The Australian Government has announced a boost to new and recommencing traineeships, offering to pay 50% of the trainee’s wage up to 30th September 2021, so there is no time to waste.

If you have any thoughts to share or would like help with your potential or current skill shortage, feel free to give me a call or email me at paul@dws.net.au.


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