The hospitality sector’s shortage of skilled workers and focus on human interaction is creating strong employment demand both now and into the future.

The Federal Government’s Vacancy Report shows there were 2310 chef jobs, 1754 waiter jobs and 1304 cook jobs vacant in March.

The government’s projections show between 2017 and 2022, 10,900 new chef positions will be created on top of the 89,500 that already exist.

An extra 13,400 kitchen hands, 13,100 cafe and restaurant managers, 11,900 bar attendants and baristas, and 4400 fast food cooks are also forecast.

Jonathan Plowright, founder of hospitality education platform Typsy, says hospitality is a good industry to be in as demand is only set to grow.

“While robots might be taking over manufacturing jobs, the hospitality industry over the next 10 years will create hundreds of thousands of new jobs and career opportunities for Australians,” Plowright says.

“The fact is, however, there simply aren’t enough Australians entering the hospitality workforce. We have a huge skills shortage.

“Imagine back to your school PE days and you and a classmate need to pick 11 players each for a soccer game … you’ve each got eight but there is no one left to pick from. We need those extra players and without easy access to them no one wins.”

Hospitality workers will need a range of skills beyond being able to pour a beer or cut up a tomato to secure a long-term career.

Research from online restaurant reservation platform OpenTable reveals a lack of people management skills was the most commonly cited challenge to face restaurateurs (50 per cent agree).

Others wish they had stronger skills in budgeting and financial management (47 per cent) or say they would brush up on staffing and human resources earlier in their career if they had their time again (45 per cent).

The research also reveals leadership qualities (83 per cent of respondents agree), a strong work ethic (79 per cent) and an understanding of the hospitality industry (68 per cent) are all considered more likely to lead to success than an ability to cook (23 per cent).

Greg Dunn, co-owner of Corbett & Claude and Comuna Cantina, says hospitality work teaches more than just how to provide a great experience to customers. “It gives a breadth of knowledge and experience that allows career progression and, importantly, instils work ethic and skills for life,” he says.

Sources: The Chronicle