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The Australian Hotels Association (WA) has congratulated the Federal Government for extending its Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements wage subsidy program for an additional year, in a move that will assist WA’s hospitality industry to create jobs and address skill shortages.

AHA(WA) CEO Bradley Woods said the scheme had proven to be overwhelmingly successful, with the creation of 100,000 apprenticeships in less than five months clearly justifying an expansion of the initiative.

“In the important recovery period ahead, WA’s hospitality industry needs help to tackle the well-known skills shortages that are impacting businesses and wage subsidies are an efficient way of enticing new workers into the sector,” Mr Woods said.

“Removing the cap on the program and transitioning it to a demand-driven scheme will drive many tens of thousands of apprentices and trainees into long-term careers.”

“We are at a point where WA’s hotels, bars, pubs, taverns and restaurants are facing a skills crisis, with COVID-19 preventing the arrival of international arrivals who traditionally fill gaps in the industry.”

“Without skilled positions such as chefs and management roles being filled, a business can be forced into reducing services or hour of operation, which negatively impacts on all employees.”

“For venues to be able to meet demand, satisfy customer expectations and grow their business, it is critical they are able to fill skilled positions – a wage subsidy for new apprentices and trainees will certainly be welcomed by industry.”

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