More skills and more jobs for tropical north Queensland tourism under new plan

Joint media release:

  • Minister for Trade and Investment, the Hon Andrew Robb AO MP
  • Queensland Minister for Tourism, the Hon Jann Stuckey MP

3 December 2013

The push to drive employment and skills in the tourism sectors is the focus of a key strategic partnership between the Australian Government and the Queensland Government.

Federal Tourism Minister the Hon Andrew Robb AO MP said tourism was Australia’s and indeed one of Queensland’s key strengths.

“As part of a programme to create a more skilled, local tourism workforce, Tourism Employment Plans (TEP) are being rolled out across eight regions of Australia, including across the North, under our Tourism 2020 strategy,” he said.

“By 2015 we’ll need an additional 56,000 workers across Australia to meet expected growth in the sector.

“Tropical north Queensland is an important tourism destination and it is vital that the region is equipped to have the right people, with the right skills at the right time to ensure the long term competitiveness of the sector. These plans are also totally compatible with the Federal Government’s vision to leverage key strengths to support the development of Northern Australia.”

According to Tourism Research Australia, tropical north Queensland is the 9th most tourism-dependent region in Australia where it makes up 9.7 per cent of the local economy. This is on the back of a 15.3 per cent increase in international visitation and 12 per cent growth in international expenditure over 2012–13 compared to 2011–12.

The Hon Jann Stuckey MP, Queensland’s Minister for Tourism, has welcomed the TEP initiative, saying it would identify skills gaps and assist employers to plan for, and meet their labour and skills needs.

“The Tropical North Queensland TEP will contribute to the implementation of targeted actions which are aligned with the Queensland Government’s 20 year plan for tourism. This includes school-based and technical training, as well as the promotion and expansion of career opportunities for Indigenous trainees in visitor economy occupations,” Ms Stuckey said.

“The TEP also aligns with current programmes aimed at addressing labour and skills issues, including the $8.2 million Workforce Futures programme and the Seasonal Worker Programme trial, which is supporting the accommodation sector meet its seasonal labour shortages in tropical north Queensland.”

EC3 Global, an international tourism and environmental management advisory group, will work with the University of Queensland and Parker Travel to develop the Tropical North Queensland TEP over the next 12 months. They will be in the region listening to operators about their labour and skills requirements in the first week of December 2013.

This announcement builds on the new TEP Guide and TEP Advisory Service, which were launched at the Tourism Directions Conference in Canberra.

“This is a practical example of how Tourism 2020 is helping to build the capacity of tourism businesses. I urge the industry to take up this opportunity to develop a skilled and productive workforce,” Mr Robb said.

For more information on how you can be involved with the Tourism Employment Plans, please visit www.tourism.gov.au/labour.

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