Accommodation Association National General Manager, Advocacy and Public Policy, Bassel Tallal; Voco Melbourne Central Director Sales & Marketing, Christine Bridge; Voco Melbourne Central Hotel Operations Manager, Celeste Clarke; Accommodation Association Victorian Advisory Committee member and Victorian GM TFE Hotels, Stephen Moore, with Minister for Industry Support, Recovery and Business Precincts Ben Carroll at Voco Melbourne Central on Sunday morning.

A $5.6 million investment from the Victorian government will support the role out of the Accommodation Association’s new jobs program in the state.

The cash injection will cover paid training and placement of up to 400 jobseekers at regional and metropolitan member properties for at least 12 months of employment – helping members address the critical labour shortage.

Accommodation Association President, Leanne Harwood, said it’s a win for jobseekers, industry members and Victorian tourists.

“The Accommodation Association Victorian Jobs program is an evolution of our existing and extensive employment pathway solutions for industry, and this significant and welcome funding will support the training of up to 400 skilled workers across our metro and regional member properties,” Harwood said.

“I thank the Victorian government for recognising the value of the tailored training that’s part and parcel of our programs, which are uniquely suited to closing the gap between demand and supply for skilled staff in our industry. Our Accommodation Association Victorian Jobs program will maximise the return on the state government investment by matching the right people to the right member property jobs, nurturing long term careers for candidates who need them most.”

The program will be accessible to all priority cohort job seekers across Victoria, who are traditionally more vulnerable to unemployment or insecure work, and will provide practical training on hotel premises.

It has been designed to provide hands-on, practical learning that delivers highly transferable skills, and offer jobseekers a foot in the door to the industry.

Accommodation Association Chief Operating Officer, Cassandra Champion, believes the program will provide great outcomes for both industry and jobseekers and “change hundreds of lives”.

“Accommodation Association employment pathways are designed to meet the needs of both jobseekers and our members, because our industry is so incredibly diverse in nature,” she said.

“No two properties are the same and neither are any two candidates. What remains a constant is that thanks to our members, every job offers a mix of longevity, inclusivity, flexibility and fun.”

With many Melbourne hotels opting to run at 60% due to staffing issues, it’s critical that more skilled people are brought into the industry, says Accommodation Association Victorian Advisory Committee member, Stephen Moore.

“The principal business challenge for Victorian members is rebuilding our workforce,” Moore said.  

“The hundreds of new staff trained through the Accommodation Association Victorian Jobs program means our members can capitalise on growing visitor demand and continue rebuilding our local hotel industry.”

The Accommodation Association Victorian Jobs program is supported by the $250 million Jobs Victoria Fund.