Griffith University

Project Description

Skills Shortages in the Australian Tourism and Hospitality Industry and employers� utilisation of undergraduate students as a contributing factor

Project Abstract

The Tourism and Hospitality Industry worldwide, and in Australia in particular, has been confronted with the problem of attracting and retaining quality employees leading to a shortage of skilled personnel to staff the ever-growing number of tourism and hospitality businesses (Andorka, 1996; Bonn & Forbringer, 1992; Breiter, 1991; Deery & Shaw, 1999; Dermady & Holloway, 1998; Emenheiser, Clay, & Palakurthi, 1998; Ferris, Berkson, & Harris, 2002; Freeland, 2000; Heraty & Morley, 1998; Hinkin & Tracey, 2000; McDermid, 1996; Powell, 1999; Tourism Division, 2002). This situation is a complex one with many different factors contributing to this problem. The paradox facing the industry is that a number of characteristics have been commonly found in the tourism and hospitality industry in Australia that impact on the shortage of skills in the industry including a young workforce, low levels of formal qualifications, high levels of female, students, part-time and casual workers, a high proportion of low skilled jobs, a large proportion of hours worked outside normal business hours, a negative industry image in the eyes of potential employees and high levels of staff turnover (Brien, 2004; Deery & Shaw, 1999; Freeland, 2000; Service Skills Victoria, 2005; Tourism Division, 2002). These characteristics all add to the complex problems associated with recruitment and retention in the industry. Understanding which factors are causing the current skills shortage in the Australian Tourism and Hospitality Industry and being able to formulate solutions to combat this problem is extremely important to the economic performance of the industry as a whole.

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