Government funding to progress interns into permanent employment has been secured by the Accommodation Association.

The Accommodation Association has extended its gratitude to the Federal Government for an AUD$1.1 million grant which will help to fund its Pathway Partnership to connect interns and employers.

The grant, which will be paid over 12 months, will contribute to a pre-employment pathway program spearheaded by the Association which sees interns receive two weeks of training ahead of a four-week internship with an employer. The program is designed to offer a taste of employment in the hospitality sector while aiming to temporarily alleviate the dire skills shortage being experienced across the sector.

The Pathway Partnership is expected to help hundreds of new workers enter the hospitality space.

Overseen by Accommodation Association Chief Operating Officer, Cass Champion, the program will see interns matched with employers based on their location, preferences for undertaking the work and skill level. If the intern is then successful in securing permanent employment, the workplace may be eligible for further government assistance in the form of wage subsidies.

Training takes place in a live workplace environment and equips interns with the skills needed to secure further ongoing work in the hospitality and accommodation sector, with a particular focus on practical skills, professional development and personal guidance. More than 400 job-seekers are expected to take part in the program and hopefully gain employment across the sector.

Accommodation Association CEO, Dean Long

Accommodation Association CEO, Dean Long, said the Pathway Partnership had been designed to meet the employment needs of member hotels and provide opportunities for new careers to be kickstarted in hospitality and accommodation.

“We’re incredibly proud to develop this program for Australia’s hotels to address the ongoing skills shortage in our sector and provide long term employment opportunities to Australians at a time when many are looking for work,” Long said.

“The Pathway program provides a lucrative opportunity for Australians looking for new career opportunities during COVID-19, particularly young people looking for a ‘foot in the door’ with our leading tourism businesses.”