Government’s $60 Billion Jobkeeper error might help struggling tourism sector

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has taken responsibility for a $60 Billion underspent jobkeeper wage subsidy error that had reduced the value of the original scheme from $130 Billion down to $70 Billion. Both Frydenberg and the ATO admitted that the number of workers expected to be covered by the scheme had been revised to approximately 3.5 million, down from 6.5 million, due to an administrative error.

According to Mr. Frydenberg, the unspent job keeper funds won’t be expanded to workers who missed out, but it could be used to support the battered tourism sector. Given that temporary visa holders, including international students, and casual workers were excluded from receiving this grant, it seems fair that a large amount should be shared with the worst hit sector in Australia.

Tourism industry data has suggested the coronavirus has already cost the Australian Tourism Sector billions of dollars. Gold coast’s tourism sector alone has lost a staggering $500 million. According to Destination Gold Coast chief executive Annaliese Battista, the COVID-19 pandemic is greater than SARS and the Global Financial Crisis. For this reason, she had requested for $2 million from the Gold Coast City Council, with Mayor Tom Tate on Tuesday pledging to fund half that amount. Despite a $27 million aid package that was granted by the state government for tourism, agriculture and education, estimates predict costs could reach $2 billion.

While the recent pandemic has had a toll on businesses, many have reopened and continue to operate under new, safety guidelines. Companies that had paused hiring are now once again rehiring, particularly in regional Australia, where many small business owners had been struggling to find skilled hospitality workers. Even amid a global pandemic, finding the right staff is still an ongoing challenge.

AABD Recruitment has always been in touch with employers across Australia and is still operating during this unprecedented time. Despite the pandemic, there has been a resurgence of jobs for certain roles. Recruitment hasn’t stopped and many of our employers are still eager to proceed with hiring suitable candidates. Hospitality is one of AABD’s major sectors and throughout the years, we have placed countless skilled migrant workers. Many of our work involve working with businesses in regional Australia where many employers struggle to find workers. For this reason, many of them are happy to provide sponsorship to the right candidate with the relevant skills and experience.