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Overview

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 with 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.

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

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

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

Employment trends

Employment snapshot

The employment level for the accommodation sector remained fairly stable between 2001 and 2019, apart from some minor fluctuations. In 2020, however, figures declined significantly from 105,500 in 2019 to 76,400 in 2020, representing the lowest employment level recorded since 2000.  This has increased in 2021 to 92,400, with projections indicating a growth in employments levels to 101,000 by 2025. The food and beverage services sector also experienced a notable decline between 2019 and 2020 (from 818,900 to 575,400), after two decades of strong growth which began in 2001 at 519,400. Employment levels increased by 38% in 2021 to 795,200, which are projected to further increase to 846,400 by 2025.

All Hospitality-related occupations are projected to show growth to 2025, with the strongest growth expected for Sales Assistants (General) (25%), Waiters (18%) and Chefs (16%).

Training trends

Training snapshot

Program enrolments in Hospitality-related qualifications declined to 96,850 in 2020, after a slight increase to 102,260 in 2019 following three years of declines from a peak of 116,030 in 2016. Project completions peaked at 37,750 in 2017 before declining steadily to 29,120 in 2020. 

The majority of training was at the certificate II (37%), certificate III (30%) or diploma or higher (22%) level, and predominantly took place within the Certificate I & II in Hospitality (44%) and Certificate III & IV in Hospitality (35%), with the remainder within the Hospitality Management (Diploma & Advanced Diploma). The main intended occupations were Hospitality Workers, and Accommodation and Hospitality Managers.

Close to 62% of all training was delivered by private training providers, with a smaller proportion delivered by schools (18%) and TAFE institutes (14%). There were some variations between qualifications, including schools delivering 41% of training for Certificate I & II in Hospitality. Almost 59% of all training was Commonwealth and state government funded, with the remaining split between international fee for service (22%) and domestic fee for service (19%).

Almost half of all training was undertaken by students residing in either Queensland (26%) or New South Wales (22%), followed by overseas (20%) and Victoria (11%). Training was predominantly delivered in Queensland (29%), New South Wales (27%), Victoria (20%) and Western Australia (13%).

Apprentice and trainee commencements have declined by more than half (57%) since 2011 and have fallen to 8,800 in 2020. Slight increases were recorded in both 2016 and 2020. Completions have also trended down since 2012. Apart from a brief rise in 2017 and 2019, completions fell to 3,270 in 2020. Hospitality Workers was the most common intended occupation, followed by Hotel Service Managers. The highest proportion of apprentices in training were reported by Queensland (32%), followed by New South Wales (25%), Victoria (23%) and Western Australia (10%).

For more data specific to your occupation, industry or training package, please visit NCVER’s Data Builder.

For more data specific to your region visit NCVER’s Atlas of Total VET.

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 2019 Skills Forecast, the top priority skills in the Tourism, Travel and Hospitality industry (inclusive of the Hospitality sector) are:

  • Teamwork and communication
  • Problem solving
  • Resilience, stress tolerance and adaptability
  • Self-management.

In addition to these priority skills, the job vacancy data shows that communication is the top generic skill in demand by employers in the Hospitality industry. According to job advertisements the top occupations in demand are Bar Attendants and Baristas, Waiters and Food Trades Assistants, with Compass Group PLC, Burger King and Spotless Group identified as the top employers.

The Tourism, Travel and Hospitality IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast also highlighted that Waiters were one of the top growth roles for the industry, with it estimated that an additional 21,800 workers would be needed to fill this type of role by 2023.

According to the Skills Priority List: June 2021, occupations in national shortage with an estimated strong future demand related to the hospitality sector include Baker, Pastrycook, Chef, and Cook. The occupations of Bar Attendant, Barista, Gaming Worker, Hotel Service Manager, and Waiter are listed as not currently in national shortage, but also have a strong future demand.

In July 2020 the McGowan Government in Western Australia announced funding for the construction of new state-of-the-art training facilities at North Regional TAFE's Broome and Kununurra campuses, aiming to ensure students are job-ready and equipped to take up local employment opportunities in the hospitality and tourism industry, as well as in the wider region such as catering in mine sites.

COVID-19 impact

The hardest-hit sector by the coronavirus pandemic is the hospitality and tourism industry, due to restrictions on mobility, physical distancing and the fear of getting infected through travel and group gatherings. The uncertainty about the nature of the virus itself and its unprecedented, quick advance has resulted in unmatched cancellations of accommodation, air transport and events, and the shutdown of restaurants, cafés and hotels.

According to FutureNow’s Food and Beverage Industry Snapshot, the hospitality sector was one of the most extensively disrupted industries in 2020, as Government responses to the COVID-19 pandemic effectively shut the sector down resulting in an abrupt stand down or dismissal of tens of thousands of workers. However due to ongoing border closures and travel restrictions, there has been a surge in consumer demand with an unprecedented increase in West Australians travelling within the state. WA cafes, restaurants and catering services reported $309.6 million in turnover in August 2020, increasing 4.3 per cent on August 2019.

The FutureNow report notes the industry shut-down, followed by border closures and government wage subsidies has reduced the availability of experienced food and beverage workers in Western Australia with the ensuing labour shortage placing pressure on sustainable operations and future growth. This issue is also noted in the ABC report On a knife’s edge, which reveals that organisations across the country are facing a hospitality worker shortage chiefly due to a lack of international workers - and in some cases, because the previously retrenched staff let go during the pandemic have found other work.

Lightspeed’s Hospitality Report reveals with the core service (dining in) unavailable for most hospitality venues, other sources of revenue were explored such as delivery & takeaway, merchandising and cook at home meals.

The ACT jobs and recovery plan outlines the Government's future investment to protect local jobs in the hospitality sector after the pandemic, including a $1,000 electricity bill rebate for cafés and restaurants, waiving fees (including annual liquor license fees and outdoor dining fees), and National Infection Control Training to support hospitality workers to help them understand how to reduce the risk of COVID-19.

Links and resources

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

IRC and skills forecasts

Tourism, Travel and Hospitality Industry Reference Committee

 

Relevant research

ACT Jobs and Recovery Plan – Australian Capital Territory, Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate

Bolstering Kimberley Training with $16 Million TAFE Investment – Mark McGowan and Sue Ellery

Food and Beverage Industry Snapshot – FutureNow Creative and Leisure Industries Training Council

Hospitality Report: 2020 Data Unpacked – and the Industry in 2021 – Lightspeed

On a Knife's Edge: Australia's Worker Shortage Sees Some Employers Offer $200k for Staff – Rachel Clayton

Skills Priority List: June 2021 – National Skills Commission

 

Government bodies

APEC Tourism Working Group

Australian Trade and Investment 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

Tasmanian Hospitality Association

Tourism Council Western Australia

Tourism Industry Council South Australia

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 NSW

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 Workers Union

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment 2021, 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 2025.
  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations, employment projections to May 2025
    • 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 2021, 6291.0.55.001 - EQ08 - Employed persons by Occupation unit group of main job (ANZSCO), Sex, State and Territory, August 1986 onwards, viewed 1 August 2021, https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/labour/employment-and-unemployment/labour-force-australia-detailed/may-2021

  • Employed total by 2 digit ANZSIC 44 Accommodation and 45 Food and Beverage Services industries, 2001 to 2021, 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
    • 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
    • SIT50416 - Diploma of Hospitality Management
    • SIT60307 - Advanced Diploma of Hospitality
    • SIT60312 - Advanced Diploma of Hospitality
    • SIT60313 - Advanced Diploma of Hospitality
    • SIT60316 - Advanced Diploma of Hospitality Management
    • THH11002 - Certificate I in Hospitality (Operations)
    • THH21802 - Certificate II in Hospitality (Operations)
    • THH42602 - Certificate IV in Hospitality (Supervision)
    • THH51202 - Diploma of Hospitality Management
    • THH51297 - Diploma of Hospitality (Management).

This includes superseded qualifications and training packages.

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

  • 2016 to 2020 program enrolments
  • 2016 to 2020 subject enrolments
  • 2016 to 2020 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:

  • 2011 to 2020 commencements
  • 2011 to 2020 completions
  • apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2020 collection, by qualification and state and territory of data submitter.

 

Job vacancy data have been extracted from Burning Glass Technologies 2021, Labor Insight Real-time Labor Market Information Tool, Burning Glass Technologies, Boston, viewed July 2021, https://www.burning-glass.com.

Data shown represent most requested generic skills, occupations and employers according to internet job postings in Australia between July 2018 and June 2021 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
    • 4311 Bar Attendants and Baristas
    • 4315 Waiters
    • 8512 Food Trades Assistants
    • 1411 Cafe and Restaurant Managers
    • 3513 Chefs
    • 45 Food and Beverage Services.
Updated: 21 Jan 2022
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