Australia faces a shortage of foreign workers

SYDNEY: Australia is struggling to attract enough foreigners to fill its workforce gaps, despite its annual permanent immigration quota being raised to 195,000 people.

Report Channel News Asiathe number of foreigners, student and work visa holders and tourists returning to Australia is increasing after the government lifted restrictions due to Covid-19.

But Australia may need some time before its labor force, which is heavily dependent on foreign workers, feels the effects of the increased quota as it has to compete with other countries for skilled workers.

This is especially true for the hospitality industry where restaurants, pubs and hotels remain among the worst affected by Covid-19, after large numbers of temporary visa holders left the country during the outbreak.

The Executive Chairman of the Australian Tourism Chamber, John Hart said, the industry has not been able to perform optimal services due to the lack of manpower.

“We have a restaurant that only operates five days a week and not seven days anymore.

“Our overall recovery is at 74 percent of what it would have been if we had actually been able to staff all of our locations to deliver the best service experience,” he explained.

Cultural diversity is now becoming a burden to workplaces across Australia, where all types of businesses including retail and information technology are facing staff shortages.

There are delays in asking immigrants to relocate and fill vacancies and available job opportunities because the process takes time and immigrants have to adjust to a new environment before starting work.

“We need to start chartering flights, having subsidized seats on planes, having a relationship between visa holders and their potential employers so that any problems can be resolved before they arrive in the country.

“All these things need to be looked at if we want to increase the influx of foreign workers again before the end of 2023,” said Hart.

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