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This page provides information and data on the Hospitality sector and its related occupations. It focuses partially on occupations and training in hospitality and hospitality management qualifications. 

The Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) categorises the Hospitality sector as encompassing businesses that provide accommodation, food and beverages such as cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services; pubs, taverns and bars; hotels, motels and other accommodation and hospitality clubs.

Key Hospitality occupations include:

  • Cafe and Restaurant Managers
  • Retail Managers
  • Bar Attendants and Baristas
  • Cafe Workers
  • Waiters
  • Sales Assistants
  • Receptionists
  • Hotel and Motel Managers
  • Hotel Service Managers.

This sector has been growing steadily over the past 5 years with the growth attributed to factors such as a growing ‘foodie’ culture, the popularity among many individuals to owning a hospitality business, population growth and an increase in consumer demand.

Employment is expected to grow significantly in the next 5 years, by 12.1% which equals to an additional 91,000 jobs.

Nationally recognised training for Hospitality is delivered under the Tourism, Travel and Hospitality Training Package.

For more information on Tourism, Cookery, and Events occupations and industries please visit the respective pages. 

Information sourced from the Tourism, Travel and Hospitality IRC's 2017 Skills Forecast and the Tourism, Travel and Hospitality IRC's 2018 Skills Forecast (forthcoming).

All data sources are available at the end of the page.


IRC and Skills Forecasts

Employment trends

Employment snapshot

The employment level for the accommodation services has remained fairly stable since 2000 with some minor fluctuations. In 2018 the employment level was at 111,600 and is projected to grow slightly to 114,700 by 2023. The food and beverage services industries has grown strongly over the past few decades and will continue to grow over the coming years. By 2023, these industry sectors are projected to employ in total over 970,000 people.

  • Most hospitality-related occupations are projected to show strong growth to 2023. The strongest growth is expected for Chefs and Waiters with over 15%, followed by Café and Restaurant Managers (14%), Bar Attendants and Baristas, and Housekeepers (13%) and Kitchenhands (12%).

Training trends

Training snapshot

Program enrolments have decreased between 2014 and 2017. In 2014 there were 129,784 program enrolments in Hospitality and Hospitality Management qualifications, and 34,498 program completions. In 2017 there were 118,110 enrolments and 35,922 completions. 

Most of the training was undertaken in Certificate I, II, III and IV in Hospitality in 2017, predominantly for Hospitality workers. The majority of training (55%) was delivered by private providers. Schools delivered 23% of training and TAFE delivered almost 16% of training. Just under two-thirds (64%) of training was funded by the government, with the remaining third split between domestic and international fee for service.

Over half of the training was undertaken by students in New South Wales (28% of students) and Queensland (27% of students). Around 16% of students are located overseas.

There was a decline in apprentice and trainee commencements in 2017 with 9,451 commencements, but an increase on 2016 completions with 5,064 in 2017, compared to 3,985 completions in 2016. Since 2012, these numbers have more than halved. Information for apprentices and trainees in training were submitted by New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia with each of them accounting for around 20%.

For more data specific to your occupation, industry or training package, please visit NCVER’s VET Students by Industry.

For more data specific to your region please visit NCVER’s Atlas of total VET. If you are prompted to log in, please select cancel and you will continue to be directed to the program.

If you are interested in extracting NCVER data to construct tables with data relevant to you, please sign up for a VOCSTATS account.

Industry insights

Industry insights on skills needs

According to the Tourism, Travel and Hospitality IRC's 2018 Skills Forecast, the top priority skills for the hospitality industry sector are:

  • active Listening
  • service orientation
  • coordination
  • speaking
  • social perceptiveness.

In addition to these priority skills, the job vacancy data shows that communication is the top soft skill in demand by employers in the Food and Beverage Services industry. According to the number of job advertisements, the top five occupations in demand are:

  • Waiters
  • Bar Attendants and Baristas
  • Cafe and Restaurant Managers
  • Food Trades Assistants
  • Chefs.

According to the job vacancy data, the top requested skills by employers were communication, detail orientation and organisation skills.  The most advertised Hospitality occupations were Waiters, Bar Attendants and Baristas.

The Australian Trade Commission’s Australian Tourism Labour Force Report: 2015-2020 provides a comprehensive picture of the current state of the tourism labour force and projects skills demand and shortages forward to 2020. Consistently, hospitality staff is coming up as the occupation the tourism industry identifies as experiencing shortages. The report also cites a large increase in the proportion of businesses identifying skills deficiencies, with 69% reporting skills deficiencies among their staff. It appears that businesses are not finding the skills they need to operate effectively and may affect the productivity and competitiveness of the sector.

In regards to training, the survey indicated that businesses primarily attribute a lack of skills to insufficient experience and workers’ skills not being aligned to the position and not the accessibility to qualified workers. In addition to boosting the numbers of students and trainees in training activities, there is also a need to ensure that this training is sufficiently tailored to the sector’s needs. The report suggests there is scope for the sector to work more closely with training providers to develop packages that better equip workers for on-the-job experience. Such approaches can address regional and occupational nuances. Elements of this approach have already been worked into various Tourism Employment Plans, which have sought to link regional tourism businesses with training providers to develop packages that target the needs of the local industry.

The Skills Forecast report found that employers in the tourism industry identified the following challenges about current tourism & hospitality training and education:

  • Recruitment and retention – there is an average vacancy rate of 7%
  • Given the small business nature of the employers in this sector, employees often move from one employer to another to realise career aspirations
  • Workers are increasingly working on a casual basis rather than in full-time employment
  • Workers tend to have mismatched qualifications that are not aligned to their job roles
  • Lack of relevant hard and soft skills in job applicants

In order to address concerns about perceptions of employment in hospitality and tourism Austrade commissioned ACIL Allen to develop an outreach strategy for the tourism and hospitality industry with the aim of developing and disseminating positive messaging to influence career perceptions and to attract people into the industry. The report Career and jobs outreach strategy outlines a six-tiered approach, which is centred on web-based and social media platforms to promote education and training and careers in hospitality and tourism.

According to Service Skills Australia’s Tourism and hospitality workforce insights, approaches to workforce development in the tourism industry cannot be ‘one-size fits all’, as the industry is varied and have different workforce development needs depending on sector and size. Instead, workforce development and training needs to be tailored and targeted. 

In addition to these key national reports discussed above, there are a number of jurisdictional and regional reports and plans which look at the tourism workforce in specific states, territories and regional areas. These reports are available on the websites listed in the Links and Resources section available below. 

Links and resources

Below is a list of industry-relevant organisations and associations. Hyperlinks have been included where available.

Government bodies

APEC Tourism Working Group

Australian Trade Commission (Austrade)                                                                                                              

Destination NSW

South Australian Tourism Commission

Tourism & Events Queensland

Tourism Australia

Tourism Research Australia                                                         

Tourism NT        

Tourism Tasmania                                           

Tourism Victoria                              

Tourism Western Australia          

Visit Canberra


State-based industry associations

NSW Business Chamber - Tourism

Queensland Tourism Industry Council

South Australian Tourism Industry Council

Tasmanian Hospitality Association

Tourism Council of WA

Victoria Tourism Industry Council


Industry associations and advisory bodies

Accommodation Association of Australia

Australian Culinary Federation

Australian Hotels Association

Australian Regional Tourism Network

Australian Tourism Export Council

Clubs Australia

Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia

Guiding Organisations Australia

Restaurant & Catering Australia

Tourism Accommodation Australia

Tourism Hospitality Catering Institute of Australia

Tourism and Transport Forum Australia

YHA Australia


Employee associations

Australian Services Union

United Voice

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment, 2018, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal  

  • by 2 digit ANZSIC 44 Accommodation and 45 Food and Beverage Services industries, employment projections to May 2023
  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations, employment projections to May 2023
    • 8114 Housekeepers
    • 1413 Hotel and Motel Managers
    • 4315 Waiters
    • 3513 Chefs
    • 4314 Hotel Service Managers
    • 1419 Other Accommodation and Hospitality Managers
    • 4311 Bar Attendants and Baristas
    • 6211 Sales Assistants (General)
    • 8513 Kitchenhands
    • 1411 Cafe and Restaurant Managers
    • 8511 Fast Food Cooks
    • 1421 Retail Managers
    • 4312 Cafe Workers.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2018, Employed persons by Industry group of main job (ANZSIC), sex, state and territory, November 1984 onwards, 6291.0.55.003 - EQ06, viewed 1 November 2018

  • Employed total by 2 digit ANZSIC 44 Accommodation and 45 Food and Beverage Services industries, 2000 to 2018, May Quarter.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, 2016 Census – employment, income and unpaid work, TableBuilder. Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data.

  • Employment level by 2 digit ANZSIC 44 Accommodation and 45 Food and Beverage Services industries, and 4 digit level occupations to identify the relevant VET-related occupations in the industry as a proportion of the total workforce. 

Training data has been extracted from the National VET Provider Collection, Total VET Student and Courses from the following training package or qualifications:

  • SIT Tourism, Travel and Hospitality Training Package
    • SIT10207 - Certificate I in Hospitality
    • SIT10212 - Certificate I in Hospitality
    • SIT10213 - Certificate I in Hospitality
    • SIT10216 - Certificate I in Hospitality
    • SIT20207 - Certificate II in Hospitality
    • SIT20212 - Certificate II in Hospitality
    • SIT20213 - Certificate II in Hospitality
    • SIT20316 - Certificate II in Hospitality
    • THH11002 - Certificate I in Hospitality (Operations)
    • THH21802 - Certificate II in Hospitality (Operations)
    • SIT30616 - Certificate III in Hospitality
    • SIT30707 - Certificate III in Hospitality
    • SIT30712 - Certificate III in Hospitality
    • SIT30713 - Certificate III in Hospitality
    • SIT30716 - Certificate III in Hospitality (Restaurant Front of House)
    • SIT40307 - Certificate IV in Hospitality
    • SIT40312 - Certificate IV in Hospitality
    • SIT40313 - Certificate IV in Hospitality
    • SIT40416 - Certificate IV in Hospitality
    • SIT50307 - Diploma of Hospitality
    • SIT50312 - Diploma of Hospitality
    • SIT50313 - Diploma of Hospitality
    • SIT60307 - Advanced Diploma of Hospitality
    • SIT60312 - Advanced Diploma of Hospitality
    • SIT60313 - Advanced Diploma of Hospitality
    • SIT50416 - Diploma of Hospitality Management
    • SIT60316 - Advanced Diploma of Hospitality Management
    • THH51202 - Diploma of Hospitality Management
    • THH51297 - Diploma of Hospitality (Management)
    • THH11097 - Certificate I in Hospitality (Operations)
    • THH21197 - Certificate II in Hospitality (Security)
    • THH21897 - Certificate II in Hospitality (Operations)
    • THH31497 - Certificate III in Hospitality (Security)
    • THH32797 - Certificate III in Hospitality (Food and Beverage)
    • THH32897 - Certificate III in Hospitality (Accommodation Services)
    • THH33002 - Certificate III in Hospitality (Operations)
    • THH42397 - Certificate IV in Hospitality (Food and Beverage Supervision)
    • THH42497 - Certificate IV in Hospitality (Accommodation Services Supervision)
    • THH42602 - Certificate IV in Hospitality (Supervision).

This includes superseded qualifications and training packages.

Data covers a range of selected student and training characteristics in the following categories and years:

  • 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 program enrolments
  • 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 subject enrolments
  • 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 program completions.

Total VET students and courses data is reported for the calendar year. Program enrolments are the qualifications, courses and skill-sets in which students are enrolled in a given period. For students enrolled in multiple programs, all programs are counted. Program completion indicates that a student has completed a structured and integrated program of education or training. Location data uses student residence. Subject enrolment is registration of a student at a training delivery location for the purpose of undertaking a module, unit of competency or subject. For more information on the terms and definitions, please refer to the Total VET students and courses: terms and definitions document. 

Low counts (less than 5) are not reported to protect client confidentiality.

Percentages are rounded to one decimal place. This can lead to situations where the total sum of proportions in a chart may not add up to exactly 100%.

SIT Tourism, Travel and Hospitality Training Package apprentice and trainee data has been extracted from the National Apprentice and Trainee collection, including:

  • 2010 to 2017 commencements
  • 2010 to 2017 completions 
  • 2017 apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2017 collection, by qualification and state and territory of data submitter.

Priority skills data have been extracted from the Tourism, Travel and Hospitality IRC's 2018 Skills Forecast.

Job vacancy data have been extracted from Burning Glass Technologies 2018, Labor Insight Real-time Labor Market Information Tool, Burning Glass Technologies, Boston, viewed July 2018,

Data shown represent most requested generic skills, occupations and employers according to internet job postings in Australia between July 2015 and June 2018 filtered by ANZSIC and ANZSCO classification levels listed below.

  • Generic skills / Occupations
    • Managers, Technicians and Trades workers, Community and Personal Service Workers, Labourers
    • 45 Food and Beverage Services.
  • Employers
    • 4315 Waiters
    • 4311 Bar Attendants and Baristas
    • 1411 Cafe and Restaurant Managers
    • 8512 Food Trades Assistants
    • 3513 Chefs
    • 45 Food and Beverage Services.
Updated: 16 Sep 2019
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