This story has been supplied to Hospitality magazine by Barcats.

Over 66,000 staff, on hospitality platform Barcats, are crying out for work and are ready to be redeployed to fill demand at convenience stores, farms, hospitals, customer service and call centers.

CEO and Founder of hospitality platform Barcats, Jeffrey Williams explains that “this is not the time to be proud and wait for the industry to restart – it’s time to be pragmatic, and act fast to redeploy skilled staff to jobs that are crying out for more staff to help with demand”

“We have identified seven key jobs in demand, that our hospitality community can operate in with transferrable skills; non-medical healthcare assistants, shelf stockers/ pick and packers, customer service, fruit pickers / farm hands, call centre operators, cleaners, delivery services.” 

“Even before the COVID-19 crisis, over 40% of our hospitality workers reported they had experienced anxiety because of work. Now key industry bodies are being unclear on what all the new regulations mean and their timeframes, it’s causing daily uncertainty and stress in the community. So one of our biggest areas of concern and our focus is how do we look after this community remotely, who were already suffering high levels of anxiety, and ensure that they feel connected and supported,” states Williams.

“We currently have a community of 66,000 hospitality staff looking for jobs – and it’s growing every day. Let us know what jobs you have available and we will quickly and efficiently connect you to the best workers. For the time being, we have waived all our fees and are just hoping to support our amazing community and connect them to other jobs available. “ 

“When the hospitality industry does return, it will be a completely different industry to what we know now,” warns Williams. “There will be significant venue closures and for those that do manage to open, the majority of punters won’t be able to return, as they will have just endured weeks and weeks of no pay, whilst still paying rent, bills and putting food on the table. And the rest of the world still won’t be travelling to Australia with travel bans in place.”

“Sorry to be doom and gloom but we have to be pragmatic right now, rather than just hope for the best. It’s important that we act quickly to , innovate, adapt and overcome, looking for other areas for this amazing workforce.”

“Over two thirds of our database is represented by international temporary visa holders, and I am also really concerned about the current lack of support for these people,” sates Williams. “These international workers have been a vital part of our community, facilitating our café culture, operating our nightlife and staffing our holidays, but now we’ve closed the borders and forgotten them in the process.”

Barcats member Kirsty, a Sydney-based Bartender explains “I lost my casual job due to the bar shutting down and as I am a traveller am not entitled to any help from the Government. Before lockdown, I chose to travel to a different state so that my rent wouldn’t be so expensive and I could try and find work on a farm whilst I have no income from hospitality. It’s such an uncertain time.”

In response to the launch of recent crowd funding campaigns by venues, Williams warns, “I would strongly advise against this. We all want to support staff, but it’s not the time to be working from a donations point of view and wrapping our arms around people. This is affecting millions of people and we need more long-term solutions that will help the entire community.”

Instagram: @barcats_community


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