Skills shortage presents work opportunities this summer holidays

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As school lets out and we move into the summer holidays, students all over Australia are likely to have more time on their hands. The holiday period can be a great opportunity to spend quality time with loved ones and also provide a good window to get some work experience.

The pandemic has also created an abundance of job opportunities which means these holidays may be the perfect time to get started.

Business struggles in the new ‘COVID normal’

Border restrictions have seen a severe decline in overseas visitors on student and working holiday visas. This has resulted in major shortages across a number of industries, with retail, hospitality and tourism most affected.

Many hospitality businesses have had trouble getting staff, with local pubs, cafes and restaurants having to turn to social media looking for workers. According to celebrity Chef Neil Perry, this is the worst he has ever seen the labour shortage in the industry by some considerable amount while the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry believes that there’s never been a better time to be applying for a job.

The WA State Government has even developed a campaign to increase the amount of young workers available in the Busselton-Margaret River region over the busy summer holidays.

Opportunities over the holidays

The current climate has presented a great opportunity for students to help affected industries while benefiting from extra money and work experience. It’s a great way to get out of the house and interact with others after lockdowns and restrictions across many parts of the country over the past 20 months.

It can also provide an opportunity to learn important skills and develop values like teamwork, communication, attention to detail, multitasking, problem solving, responsibility and more. These skills, values and experience are arguably desirable for any job and can be transferred to almost any industry later on.

Applying for jobs

Many businesses advertise on platforms like Indeed, Jora, or Seek, as well as on their website and social media accounts. Some are also relying on word-of-mouth so you can often find out whether a business is currently hiring or not. The WA Government has set up Hospo Gigs to help people find and apply for casual hospitality jobs this summer.

Smaller businesses usually require an initial job trial to assess if you are the right fit for the role, but you may find some are currently more flexible with this. The Fair Work Ombudsman provides details on unpaid work in the hospitality industry on their website.

Starting a new job might be overwhelming for some students especially given the stresses of the past couple of years. Resources like Lifeline are available for those needing support.

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