AVC is bringing stranded hospo workers home

The hospitality staffing crisis in Australia has led the Australian Venue Co (AVC) to launch a campaign called “The Summer of Fun” to recruit hundreds of workers from overseas.

Pubs, clubs and restaurants around the country are struggling to fill positions. As Gourmet Traveller notes: “The sector has historically relied on migrant workers, backpackers and international students to fill vacancies in front-of-house and kitchen roles. Industry figures have pointed to international border closures, in place from March 2020, as the predominant cause of the current worker shortage – international workers have flown the coop, or they can’t get back into the country.”

AVC has vacancies at its 170 venues around Australia for positions including bartenders, chefs and managers. It wants to help Australians stranded abroad return home, plus it’s offering to pay the moving costs for UK chefs who might be looking for a summer job.

The company will give successful applicants two weeks of rental accommodation and a $1000 drinking and dining voucher too. Paid training will start online while workers are in hotel quarantine, so they’re ready to start work as soon as they’re released. people can hit the ground running.

For UK citizens, AVC will also contribute to the costs for the employer-sponsored visa, which could begin the pathway to permanent residency.

Paul Waterson, AVC’s chief operating officer, told “It’s been incredibly difficult for many Australians to get home, so we’re excited to support a pathway home for Aussies abroad who have hospitality experience.”

Waterson is convinced pent-up consumer demand means his venues will be run off their feet post-lockdown.

“Australians – particularly those in Sydney and Melbourne – are absolutely overdue a good time,” he said.

“No matter where you are in Australia, your hospitality career doesn’t have to be on hold right now. You can make your next career move today and start now with AVC. Whether you have 10-plus years of experience or no experience at all, we have a job for you.”

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Skills Connect helps hospitality industry re-staff

A new hospitality staffing solution called Skills Connect International (SCI) has also launched in Australia, with a focus on helping venues source staff locally and from overseas.

SCI offers career transition, training, and job placement across a variety of industry sectors within hospitality, from junior chefs through to board level executive placements.

CEO Roy McCullagh was special guest on a Facebook Live session last week, discussing with FoodLogic co-founder Venessa Barnes how he hopes to help the hospitality industry recover from COVID-19 lockdowns.

SCI is partnering with several off-shore student providers that are working to get qualified staff into Australia when the borders reopen. McCullagh (above) has been doing Zoom interviews with candidates in South East Asia and has 200 or 300 workers lined up ready to go.

“The whole idea is to connect really great venues with really great staff,” McCullagh said. “Currently there is no charge for us to find clients their first candidate,” he said. “Hopefully the goodwill we are establishing now will benefit us in the long term. Right now we just want to help venues open and help lots of people get back to work and get their confidence back.”

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