Lack of hospitality representation at Jobs and Skills Summit worrying

Restaurant & Catering Australia (R&CA), Australia’s peak body for restaurants, cafes and catering businesses, has today expressed concern at the lack of representation from Australia’s hospitality industry at the upcoming Jobs and Skills Summit to be held on 1 – 2 September 2022.

Despite Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s call for “an agreement” on how to solve the jobs and skills crisis, the national industry association representing the interests of more than 55,000 restaurants, cafes and catering businesses across Australia has not been asked to attend the major summit.

R&CA CEO Belinda Clarke said the lack of representation from hospitality groups was deeply concerning and begged the question of whether the upcoming summit will solve the crippling staffing shortage that Australia faces.

“Australia’s hospitality industry is incredibly concerned that they won’t have a seat at the table at the Jobs and Skills Summit. We currently have an estimated 95,000 jobs to fill and without practical solutions from industry itself, we’re worried that this week’s summit will fail to address anything”, Ms Clarke said.

“Restaurants, cafes and catering businesses are crying out for staff and this shortage has meant that businesses are reducing their trading hours, shutting for more days per week and taking less bookings. With international borders locked down for two years and other local factors, things have never been worse”.

“Ask any venue operator in Australia and they’ll tell you that this is the biggest issue facing industry at the moment. I really hope the Jobs and Skills Summit is a success, but I know it will mean so much for the 55,000 restaurants, cafes and catering businesses across the country if their voices are actually heard on Thursday and Friday”, she said.

R&CA has created a Jobs and Skills Summit Priorities One-Pager which offers a variety of practical and effective policies that will help alleviate the current staffing crisis.

R&CA will continue to advocate on behalf of Australia’s hospitality industry and will continue to work with federal and state governments to solve this problem.