Jobseekers are crying out for more hours and great employment opportunities new data reveals, but the struggling hospitality industry is not high on their agenda.
The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows workers are looking for more employment opportunities as the nation grapples with unemployment amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The data, released prior to Victoria's fifth lockdown, stated there were 2.2 million people who were not working and wanted to work and 1.6 million people wanted to work more than their usual hours.
Across the nation, 1.7 million people not working were available to start work immediately and 975,000 people changed jobs in the last year.
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Brougham Arms Hotel co-owner Scott Macumber said the hospitality industry was crying out for skilled staff, but many experienced workers were looking for work elsewhere as the sector was one of the worst hit during lockdown periods.
"We're always waiting for next lockdown and with the government not paying staff, people are finding a job where there's more money and safety," he said.
"Chefs are what we're really having trouble finding as they are more specialised, but the majority had time off and thought about their careers and decided they're not going back.
It's probably never been as hard as this.Scott Macumber
"Out of lockdowns, everyone wants to come out and we're forced to fill in gaps to make it easier for our qualified and experienced staff who are working a lot more hours and stretched."
Mr Macumber said the lockdown periods gave people a chance to reflect on their careers and the hours and work load of the hospitality industry had become undesirable for many people who previously considered it as their career.
"We're looking anywhere for chef, we've advertised nationally on Seek," he said. "We're in the boat of looking for experienced staff as it's very hard to train the new ones coming in because we're so busy.
"There's less commitment from people too. They'll be offered weekend shifts and won't take them because they know what it's like to have them off. They're willing to work when they can, not when we need them.
"Covid gave people the opportunity to get out of the industry, the one's who have done it for over 10 or 15 years have left and gone and got jobs where there's a steady income.
"There's no real answer."
WDEA Works has seen positive changes in the workforce for jobseekers looking to gain employment as time and no international workforce have allowed people to think about the amount of work they'd like to be doing as well as the types of work.
Bendigo site manager Julianne Runnalls said the ABS data reflected what the employment agency was seeing.
"Part-time workers are taking the opportunities presented and are keen to take on more hours," she said. "Jobseekers who were ready to start immediately have quickly been able to find employment.
"We're also seeing an increase in people changing jobs. Without international workers there are more employment opportunities.
People who may have previously only had an option to work within the casual labour market are now able to move into roles with a more traditional working arrangement.Julianne Runnalls
However, the hospitality industry, was not high on the priority list for people looking for work.
"Positions within healthcare food services, manufacturing, factory processing and healthcare administration roles and are highly sought after and competitive," Ms Runnalls said.
"Employers have also become more adaptable to how roles are fulfilled and the needs of their workforce."
The Brougham Arms Hotel shut its doors in the wake of Victoria's fifth lockdown citing down time was needed for its staff to recoup.
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