Labour and Skills

Australia's tourism industry employed 924 600 people directly and indirectly in 2016-17. This accounts for 8 per cent of Australia's total employment at that time.

However, tourism businesses are facing substantial recruitment and retention difficulties and skills deficiencies. In 2015, Deloitte Access Economics estimated 38,000 unfilled vacancies at that time, representing a vacancy rate of 7 per cent.

Under Tourism 2020, the Australian Government has identified four key actions to address these challenges:

  1. Improving recruitment and retention for the industry
  2. Enhancing regional workforce planning and development
  3. Identifying education and training gaps and potential mechanisms to address them
  4. Facilitating workforce mobility and expanding the traditional workforce.

This website provides the latest information on relevant programs and resources to assist the tourism industry, regions and businesses in addressing their labour and skills needs.

Austrade Initiatives

Tourism and Hospitality Labour and Skills Roundtable
Austrade has established a Tourism Labour and Skills Roundtable to connect industry with government and help build a sustainable tourism workforce for the future.

Australian Tourism Labour Force Report 2015 - 2020
This report, drafted by Deloitte Access Economics, provides a comprehensive picture of the current state of the tourism labour force and associated skills demand and shortages forward to 2020.

Tourism and Hospitality Careers Report 2016
This report assesses what influences the perceptions held by young people, parents, mature age workers and businesses on careers in the tourism and hospitality industry.

Literature review: tourism and hospitality careers international benchmarking
To supplement the Tourism and Hospitality Careers Report 2016, Colmar Brunton conducted a literature review into the perceptions of hospitality and tourism careers in five comparable countries. These countries were the United Kingdom (UK), United States, New Zealand, France and Canada. The aim was to understand how Australia’s experience compared with perceptions in similar jurisdictions and enable Australia to replicate learnings from these other countries. The study found that these countries face similar challenges to Australia in terms of perceptions of the tourism and hospitality sector.

Careers and Jobs Outreach Strategy
Austrade commissioned ACIL Allen to develop an outreach strategy for the tourism and hospitality industry to use in developing and disseminating positive messaging to influence career perceptions and attracting people into the industry. The strategy is based on research from the Australian Tourism Labour Force Report 2015 - 2020, the Tourism and Hospitality Careers Report 2016 and interviews conducted with tourism and hospitality industry stakeholders.

Tourism Employment Plans
Learn how Tourism Employment Plans are delivering practical measures to address employment challenges across Australia.

Develop Your Workforce
Find information on relevant initiatives, programs and resources to address your employment needs.