Education and training initiatives in the 2017–18 Queensland Budget will help address chronic skills shortages currently facing the state’s hospitality sector, according to industry body Restaurant & Catering Australia (R&CA).
The Queensland Government has announced $60 million in 2017–18 as part of the four-year $240 million Skilling Queenslanders for Work program, which initially started in 2015. Ten million dollars was also allocated to assist in skills creation for jobs seekers in regional areas.
R&CA CEO John Hart said that the Queensland Government’s programs will help to ensure that jobs growth in the state’s hospitality sector will be fully realised.
“The hospitality sector in Queensland is one of many sectors suffering from a lack of access to adequately skilled workers.
“The Queensland Government’s investment in education and training as part of the 2017–18 Budget will assist hospitality sector operators in sourcing the skilled the labour they need to run their businesses effectively,” Hart said.
The Queensland Government’s investment in skills and training has been complemented by payroll tax incentives for businesses who hire apprentices and trainees.
Under this policy, businesses who hire apprentices and trainees will receive a payroll tax rebate of 50 percent on their wages in addition to their wages being exempt from payroll tax until 30 June 2018.
“The Queensland Government’s financial incentives for small businesses hiring apprentices and trainees are welcome news for the 7,000 cafés and restaurants across the state, 90 percent of which are small businesses employing 20 people or less.
“These rebates benefit both the businesses themselves and the apprentices and trainees who will now find it easier to obtain employment in the hospitality sector once they’ve attained the necessary skills they need,” Hart said.
The 2017–18 Queensland Budget also provided an additional $47 million in 2020–21 to extend the State Government’s $100 million per annum funding guarantee for Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ).
“The natural advantages Queensland has in attracting increased visitation from both domestic and international tourists will be wasted without significant financial investment over a sustained period of time which has been recognised in this Budget,” said Hart.
“The tourism industry is one of the pillars of the state’s economy and this funding will ensure that TEQ is adequately resourced to help bring as many domestic and international tourists to Queensland as possible.”