Initiative to connect tourism employers with workers

October 28, 2021 BY

Direct Recruiting’s Jamie Croft, Minister for Regional Development Mary-Anne Thomas, Geelong MP Christine Couzens, project control group member Damien Cerantonio, Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism’s Liz Price and Tourism Greater Geelong and Bellarine’s Brett Ince at Provenance Wines. Photo: JAMES TAYLOR

A NEW job-matching program to help employers find workers during the summer rush will be trialled in Geelong, the Bellarine and the Great Ocean Road.

The Tourism Jobs Bank, launched last week, will help the region’s tourism and hospitality businesses find skilled staff and offer training through regional organisations to ensure staff have a range of skills and can support businesses with payroll and staff management systems.

Local demand for hospitality staff has always surged in the height of summer, but securing staff has become more challenging during the pandemic with fewer international travellers available for work.

Geelong-based employment agency Direct Recruitment is a partner in the pilot program and will use the jobs bank to match employers with candidates.

As of last week, five businesses have already signed up and are offering four jobs each.

Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism and Tourism Greater Geelong and The Bellarine are partners in the project, which will also include a digital and regional marketing campaign targeting not only tourism and hospitality businesses in need of summer staff but also a wide range of jobseekers interested in finding work in the region.

The Tourism Jobs Bank is being supported by $400,000 from the Victorian Government’s Regional Recovery Fund.

Minister for Regional Development Mary-Anne Thomas visited Provenance Wines in Fyansford to launch the program alongside Geelong MP Christine Couzens, Tourism Greater Geelong and Bellarine executive director Brett Ince, Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism general manager Liz Price, and project control group member (and Business and Tourism Anglesea president) Damien Cerantonio.

Mr Cerantonio, who also operates the Great Ocean Road Resort in Anglesea, said there was now a sense of excitement in the industry and the Tourism Jobs Bank would be appreciated.

“We need more staff to ensure that we can operate at full capacity and make the most of the recovery and the months ahead with Melbourne coming out and coming into our peak period.

“It’s not only the jobs bank hopefully providing more jobs for businesses, it’s also our existing staff, and that’s probably my greatest concern; the pressure that our existing staff are going to be under over the next three or four weeks.

“We don’t want to overwork our staff to the point where they get burnt out and leave, and we should understand what they’ve gone through over the past 18 months.”

Connie Trathen from the Portarlington Grand Hotel, Terry Jongebloed from Clyde Park Winery and Sharon Bradshaw from Forrest Brewing were also in the project control group.

“We’re looking to link employers with the jobseekers they need – whether that is baristas, bar staff or beauticians – supporting a successful summer season for the region’s vibrant tourism sector,” Ms Thomas said.

“The Tourism Jobs Bank will support businesses and it will be a boon for workers looking for rewarding work and to build their skills.”

For more information, head to the Direct Recruitment website.

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