Visa changes to address chef shortage

24th June 2021 | Eativity editors

The federal government has announced that chefs will now be listed on the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL). Australia’s restaurants, cafes and caterers have applauded the move. It will turbocharge the recovery of thousands of hospitality businesses across the country who are suffering a crippling skills crisis, including a chef shortage.

Restaurant & Catering Australia (R&CA) President Con Castrisos and CEO Wes Lambert have welcomed the announcement. They say it will help restaurants, cafes and caterers combat the crippling lack of qualified chefs available due to the impact of COVID on migration.

Visa change to address chef shortage
Chefs from other nations don’t just bring their delicious cuisines, they also bring skills to share.

Skilled migrants keep businesses going

“These skilled migrants are a critical part of thousands of hospitality businesses across the country. They keep businesses open for longer hours, keeping more Australian workers in jobs,” Castrisos says. “They also play a critical role in training the next generation of Australian chefs in cuisines from around the world.

“Across our country – from Port Douglas to Hobart; from Perth to Sydney and everywhere in between – restaurants, cafes and catering businesses have been crying out for greater access to skilled migrants to help them recover. This change answers that call.”

The move follows a recommendation in the Joint Standing Committee on Migration’s Interim Report into Skilled Migration in Australia that chefs and managers be added to PMSOL.

Addressing the chef shortage will certainly help our hospitality businesses recover after a tumultuous year. Many restaurants had to let international chefs go during the pandemic. This has left the industry exposed just as it seeks to rebuild.

“R&CA had been advocating for these changes both to the Morrison government and the Joint Standing Committee,” Lambert says. “This will help those across our sector access the skills they need to grow their business. This means they can employ more Australians.”