- 30 May 2018
Late last year, Regional Development Australia Southern Inland (RDASI) conducted a skills audit of businesses in the Southern Inland region to identify and explore skills gaps in the region. The report found that in the Snowy Monaro, skills shortages are the highest of any Local Government Area in the Southern Inland, with 81% of businesses identifying a skills shortage in their business. The most significant skills shortages exist in the Tourism and Hospitality sector and the Retail sector.
According to one business owner, this skills crisis is closely linked to a shortage in accommodation.
Anton Wiesmann purchased Panorama Jindabyne in 2014 with his wife, Bibi. Anton has struggled since he purchased the hotel to fill positions relating to food and beverage service, including cooks and kitchen hands. In addition, Anton’s plans to expand his service offering, including offering spa and sauna services, have been halted as he is unable to attract appropriate workers.
When asked why he believes it is so hard to source staff, Anton replies, “Because we have a lack of accommodation…how can someone live here and have a career without accommodation?” The Southern Inland Skills Audit found that 50% of businesses in the Snowy Monaro region believe skills shortages are due to a lack of accommodation in the area (59% believe they are due to the remoteness/isolation of the region and 50% believe it is due to a lack of technical skills amongst candidates).
Anton explains that those who do own rental houses or apartments rent them out for the short-term, for holiday goers.
“It’s much more lucrative to rent out accommodation for the short-term, rather than long-term,” Anton explains.
Anton believes that the government needs to look at placing restrictions against short-term rentals, such as Airbnbs. He also emphasises that the accommodation issue must be addressed first, before skills training occurs, because, without suitable accommodation, skilled workers will not be able to work in the region.
“It’s not really a skills shortage, it’s an accommodation shortage…unless we get accommodation for workers, we won’t attract any workers.”
If you are interested in finding out more, the full report is available here.