While there may be an air of uncertainty when it comes to the status of Australia’s new temporary visa program following the axing of the 457 Visas, Professor Ruth McPhail of the Centre for Work, Organisation and Wellbeing believes the local hospitality industry may see some hardships in some areas, but the situation may increase internal staff development in others.
According to Professor McPhail, the problems of the visa changes comes from attaining those employees with specialised skills that most Australians simply do not have.
“This can occur in areas like Chefs for example,” she said.
“if you’re looking for a highly specialised French-trained chef, there’s going to be limits on the people who have that background and skills. So, this visa will restrict that; you will then be having to find that nationally more complicated than previously where you can make a case and say this is a specialised skill not easily found in Australia. “
Similarly finding good Australian chefs internationally are also in demand, so there is a demand that goes back and forth.”
The search for specialised workers may be more difficult under new visa regulations, but having less of an ability to bring in foreign workers means more management positions may be open for Australians.
“I think there will be an opportunity to better develop individuals within the country, within the culture to go through to those more senior levels of leadership,” Professor McPhail said.
While there are still questions about what the new Temporary Skill Shortage Visa that is replacing the old 457 visa program will look like, Professor McPhail believes the hospitality industry will be looking very closely at the situation in the coming months.
“In hospitality, there is this continued development of people within the industry that move around internationally, and so the restriction will be about whether or not the specialised skills can be sought in Australia, and in some cases that may be very difficult if not impossible,” Professor McPhail said.