The industry uproar over the recent changes to the skilled migration program has clearly demonstrated again how important overseas workers are to our industry.
Fortunately, the changes have placed our occupations on the shortage and skilled lists, although the higher level of skills of restaurant managers, in the full-service restaurant environment, have not been recognised. The Association has made a submission on this, and also added Pastry Cooks to the request for consideration for the four-year list.
There have been literally hundreds of questions that the R&C migration service has answered. If there is anything in these changes you are concerned about, please contact the Association on 1300 722 878.
It is important that the changes do not create a hiatus in the supply of workers from abroad. It is only with these skilled staff in place that the industry can train up the local staff that work in our restaurants, cafés and catering businesses.
The other source of overseas labour supply that is being threatened by the changes in the budget is overseas students who are a very important component to our workforce.
In total, between working holiday-makers, students and skilled migrants, there are nearly 100,000 overseas workers in the industry. We have to acknowledge that they all help us keep the doors open.
Mark Scanlan, President
Restaurant & Catering Australia