Published on : Tuesday, October 13, 2020
While thousands of tourism jobs have been lost due to the COVID-19 endemic, one needs to be on alert against future labor and skill shortages, said Tourism Industry Aotearoa.
“As tourism revives, job and career opportunities will re-emerge. But will we get our people back? There is a risk of labour and skill shortages if we permanently lose staff displaced by COVID-19,” TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts said.
TIA has made ‘People’ one of the six priority areas to be considered from the incoming Government in TIA’s Tourism Election 2020 Action Plan.
The Association has also submitted in-depth Position Paper specifying ideas on Rebuilding the Tourism Workforce to the Tourism Futures Taskforce.
Before the pandemic, 230,000 people were directly employed in tourism, with another 164,000 indirectly employed, accounting for 14.4% of New Zealand’s workforce. Regarding short-term tourism job losses, it could range from 40,000 to 92,000 – but these roles will need to be fulfilled as soon as tourism is back on track.
Skill and labor shortages are enduring tourism issues, Mr. Roberts said. Many tourism jobs are not 9am-5pm types or typical Monday-Friday roles. Many such job positions are in remote parts of New Zealand offering only seasonal employment.
New Zealanders have usually viewed tourism and hospitality as fun to work in but they have little knowledge regarding the excellent career paths or job opportunities that exist in this field.
“We need ongoing efforts to attract New Zealanders to work in tourism. We also need recognition from the Government elected on 17 October that workers from overseas must continue to be part of the mix, filling tourism jobs when suitable New Zealanders can’t be found. Tourism has roles that by nature of their location and duration will always be a struggle to fill,” Mr. Roberts added.