The Australian Hotels Association is engaging with the coalition government over the Federal Opposition’s plans to cut permanent migration by 25%.

On Friday last, AHA National CEO Stephen Ferguson and AHA Senior Vice President David Basheer met at 6.30am for an hour-long discussion with Shadow Minister for Immigration Dan Tehan MP to discuss migration concerns.

During the meeting, it was agreed that any migration skills list needs to have a clear focus on where the real shortages are, and that the Coalition would work with the AHA and Accommodation Australia in the finalisation of its migration and workforce policies.

“The hospitality sector has 12,000 chef and cook positions vacant right now – we are also in desperate need of restaurant and hotel managers to name a few,” Ferguson said.

“To put it simply there just aren’t enough Australians now to fill these jobs – let alone when Governments lower the migration intake even further.”

Accommodation Australia CEO Michael Johnson warned of possible restaurant closures if skilled staff are not available.

“If the hospitality and accommodation sectors can’t get access to the skills they need, this will mean even more hotel restaurants closed on more days of the week unfortunately,” Johnson said.

“That leads to a loss of productivity and lost employment opportunities.”