Illawarra Newsroom

Wollongong hospitality and tourism jobs expo confirmed as operators seek staff

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A number of key Wollongong organisations and politicians have banded together to help ease the labour shortage that has hit the region's tourism and hospitality industry.

Federal MPs Sharon Bird and Stephen Jones, RDA Illawarra and a host of other local industry and training groups including Destination Wollongong are putting on a Hostility and Tourism jobs expo early next month.

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Destination Wollongong boss Mark Sleigh said they're asking businesses to pledge jobs ahead of a hiring event in Osborne Park on December 7.

"Without working holiday makers in town and also the uni students not coming back yet, hospitality and tourism have been dealt a really hard hand as we come out of this COVID period.

"They've had such a hard 18 months, they're desperate to get back out and trading but they just don't have the staff to do it at the moment.

"We want to encourage school leavers and people who have been displaced from their more traditional jobs to consider a career in tourism and hospitality," he said.

Employers with openings can pledge jobs HERE.

"School leavers will be looking at those jobs and considering how they can apply for them," Sleigh said.

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The Destination Wollongong boss has travelled the world throughout his career and said the industry presents a variety of career options that young people should consider.

"The great thing about tourism and hospitality is a lot of the jobs are relatively unskilled so that people can come in without any significant training but it also offers a great opportunity to be able to continue to train as you love your career and move further up the ladder at each of these businesses," Sleigh said.

"I encourage school leavers to give it some genuine thought, it's not just about a short term job to get you through university, it's a real career," he said.

Images: pixabay / LuckyLife11, Google Maps and the Australian Government