Tasmania has a critical shortage of skilled professional hospitality workers. Our fast-growing tourism and hospitality sector needs chefs – several hundred of them – and Divergence, a newly-established Tasmanian recruitment company, is working with the Tasmanian Hospitality Association to find a solution.
The situation in Tasmania is an extension of the chef shortage on mainland Australia, where it has been estimated that as many as 38,000 workers are needed in our nation’s hotels, pubs, clubs, bistros and restaurants.
The figure comes from a November 2015 report by Deloitte Access Economics, which projected that on current trends, a staggering 123,000 additional hospitality workers will be required around the country by 2020. The full report can be found at www.medianet.com.au/releases/55059/.
The Deloitte report makes it clear that the strongest demand is for skilled staff, particularly chefs. Divergence director Adrian Sampson says that local tourism and hospitality businesses are inevitably affected by a serious lack of professional workers.
“With a busy summer season ahead, it’s essential that we address the issue as a matter of urgency,” Mr Sampson says. “At Divergence, we’re already using our extensive contacts in the sector to ease the shortage. We’ve recently been able to identify around 100 interstate chefs who are ready, willing and able to move to Tasmania and start work immediately and we’re currently liaising closely with our industry partners to connect the chefs with the right local tourism and hospitality businesses.”
In a recent development that will benefit the industry as well as its new interstate recruits, Divergence has joined forces with the Tasmanian Hospitality Association as the THA’s preferred migration agent. THA General Manager Steve Old says that the partnership is already showing positive results, with a number of interstate chefs finding placements in Tasmania as a result of their recruitment by Divergence via the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme.
The RSMS is an Australian Government initiative that aims to assist regional areas of the country, including Tasmania, to attract skilled workers. The scheme offers a permanent residence visa for people who want to work in regional Australia and have been nominated for a placement by an approved employer.
“Many of the chefs we need will be seeking permanent residence in Australia through the RSMS,” Mr Old says. “To encourage professional chefs to move permanently to Tasmania, it’s important to make the process as smooth as possible for both the candidates and local employers.”
As Adrian Sampson explains, Divergence offers a seamless, end-to-end migration service that is simple, timely and cost-effective for all involved.
“There are costs involved with the RSMS service, and these have generally been borne by the sponsoring employers,” Mr Sampson says. “But the key innovation that sets our service apart from the conventional recruitment model is that Divergence requires the candidates to make a personal financial commitment to their relocation, assisting the employers to fund the costs of migration services and other related expenses.” he says.
This means that Tasmanian employers don’t carry the whole burden of recruitment costs. And because the chefs have some ‘skin in the game’, they have a strong incentive to commit to their new positions and become key professionals for their new employers.
If you’re an employer in the tourism and hospitality sector who needs more skilled staff – or if you’re a chef who is keen to practise your professional skills as a permanent resident here in Tasmania – Divergence and the THA can help.