Hundreds of jobs in the tourism and hospitality sector will be created as part of a Victorian government initiative to boost the state’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic by helping jobseekers stuck in precarious work or unemployment.
On Sunday, Ben Carroll, the minister for industry support, recovery and business districts, announced a $5.6 million fund for training and support during the first 12 months of work in 320 roles, in partnership with the Accommodation Association of Australia.
Eighty per cent of jobs will be in Melbourne and the remaining 20 per cent in regional centers such as Ballarat, Geelong, Phillip Island and Bendigo.
Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics in June revealed that 51% of accommodation and food service businesses nationwide were struggling to find staff after borders closed during COVID-19 which delayed migration and tourism.
Carroll said participants in the Victorian Government initiative would receive five days of training, a “workplace buddy” and comprehensive services to support them through at least 12 months of employment.
“They are long-term employees,” he said. “So they’ll be matched with mentors, support staff, and they’ll be people who have struggled to break into the industry. There will be people coming out of the justice system, there will be people of aboriginal descent…whether they’re women over 45 or young people under 25.
The scheme, part of the $250 million Jobs Victoria Fund, will also prioritize people from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, people with disabilities and those facing long-term unemployment.
Roles will include housekeeping, food and beverage preparation, conferences and events.