A range of Federal, State and Local Government and other programs and help is available for businesses looking to attract, upskill and retain staff.

Tourism Noosa has created the Tourism Jobs in Noosa online jobs board - and it's free for our members to advertise their jobs.

  • Post your job vacancy
  • Find or promote hospitality training opportunities
  • Find help with accommodation for staff


Tackling the Noosa region's staff shortages

The one thing that differentiates a great business from those that just get by, is the quality of the staff. A skilled, enthusiastic, happy and hardworking team that reflect the owner’s vision is the key ingredient for business success.

One of the big challenges facing business in the region today is finding the right staff and retaining them.

One solution that is being embraced by some forward-thinking employers, is to build up their own workforces by putting on trainees, many of whom are school-based.

Being school-based, they live locally so there are no affordable accommodation issues, and because the traineeship is treated by their school as a subject attracting QCE points, they are generally highly motivated.

From an employer’s point of view, they gain a flexible workforce that is available at peak times (such as school holidays), who don’t move on for at least the duration of the traineeship (up to 2 years).

The ability to match training to the employer’s needs is one of the big benefits of a modern traineeship, this flexibility means that the most urgently needed skills can be prioritised, enabling the trainee to be a productive team member sooner.

The Qld Government contributes the majority of the cost of the training for the eligible person of your choice. Upon completion of the traineeship the Federal Government will pay you the employer an incentive payment.

New, and in some cases existing, employees can be put through traineeships - full and part-time staff may be eligible along with school-based trainees.

The Regional Training team is working with many businesses throughout the Sunshine Coast region to help create linkages between employers and suitable potential trainees.

If you’d like to find out more about the benefits of having trainees in your business contact the Regional Training team on 07 5481 2486 or email admin@regionaltraining.qld.edu.au

Pictured: Trainee Aleaa at Pomona Distillery.

- By Regional Training Services Qld Managing Director, David Asher


Tourism Workforce Report

Tourism Research Australia recently published the Tourism Workforce Report which provides a snapshot of the workforce in Australia's visitor economy. It covers the size and composition of the workforce, vacancies in tourism-related occupations, recruitment activity and the availability of international labour.

After an annual growth rate of 3.5% between 2010 and 2019, the onset of the pandemic in 2020 saw Australia's tourism workforce decline by more than half in just 6 months, down to 363,000 - a loss of almost 400,000 jobs.

Tourism-related job vacancies rose rapidly from October 2021 and peaked at 26,274 in August 2022, which was double the number the year before and almost 3 times higher than the pre-pandemic average.

The number of job vacancies declined from then, and in June 2023, there were 16,963 tourism-related vacancies – 35% lower than June 2022, but still well above (176%) the pre-pandemic average level.

The report says the severity of labour shortages eased last year, although skills shortages remained elevated. The size of the tourism workforce has grown strongly, while vacancies have declined as workers return to the industry, international workers numbers continue to increase and policy measures have helped rebuild the workforce.

For the future, the number of international students and working holiday makers in Australia is expected to increase, while the slower pace of growth in domestic tourism demand is also likely to help to narrow the gap between current staff levels and the desired/required level to meet demand.

Labour and migration Government initiatives, along with industry skills opportunities are also expected to influence the future of the visitor economy workforce.



The Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) is starting an Industry Workforce Advisor program to help small Queensland businesses with their workforce challenges.

The Industry Workforce Advisor will work one-on-one with eligible small businesses (up to 19 employees) to:

  • Identify workforce challenges, develop a workforce plan, and suggest options to address the challenges, including accessing grants and incentives
  • Support your business in developing strategies to recruit and attract a workforce and help identify potential alternative labour channels
  • Refer your business to funding available under the Workforce Connect Fund for new and innovative HR solutions
  • Connect your business with Queensland Government programs, including grants and initiatives

With places for the first intake limited, Expressions of Interest for participation will be released via email.

For more information on the program, please contact QTIC’s Industry Workforce Advisor, Adam on 0431 229 131 or via email at Adam.Stephen@qtic.com.au


More than 74,500 Working Holiday Makers (WHM) have been issued with visas but have not commenced their travel to Australia. The Australian Chamber of Commerce (ACCI) Tourism Committee proposes an industry-based visa rebate scheme, funded by members across the visitor economy.

There is an opportunity for Tourism Accommodation Australia, Australian Hotels Association and Accommodation Association of Australia Members to work with ACCI to approach these offshore WHMs directly. Members interested in attracting Working Holiday Maker Visa holders who are willing to refund the visa fee (AUD$510) if they are employed by your organisation, register your interest



Local businesses with entry-level vacancies can join the Launch into Work Program, matching them with job seekers through a project tailored to the roles you need filled.

The Australian Government program will deliver local projects designed with the employer which prepare job seekers for vacancies and help employers trial new ways of recruiting.

The program aims to boost the confidence of unemployed locals and help motivate them to take the next steps to find a job, and work with local employers on projects designed to develop job seekers' skills for the identified roles.

Contact anita@itchyfeetmedia.com if your business would like to be involved.

Sponsoring a skilled migrant

If you are looking to fill workforce gaps in your business by sponsoring a skilled migrant, the QTIC Guide to Sponsoring a Skilled Migrant sets out the steps and costs associated, and guides your business through the process.


Jobs and Skills Summit delivers outcomes

The Federal Government’s Jobs and Skills Summit delivered a range of immediate measures designed to ease Australia's current workforce shortages.

These included delivering additional training places, easing workforce entry for under-represented cohorts, and increasing numbers of skilled migrants.


Staff shortages – Welcome to Travel help find employees

As part of their travel service for international backpackers, Welcome to Travel helps travellers find jobs by linking them with employers.

Employers can join the employment database so they can be discovered by travellers and can post jobs. It takes just five minutes to input information through a simple questionnaire and it is completely free for employers.



The Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) holds a Virtual Career Expo every month to promote your brand to a statewide audience.

You can have a virtual booth, engage directly with participants and recruit your newest employees.



To ease the skills shortage many hospitality operators are experiencing, the Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) is helping casual cooks upskill to certified chef through flexible and alternative pathways to trade qualifications.

The Registered Training Skills Pathway program, supported by the Queensland Government, provides flexibility for working cooks, financial incentives and removes many of the barriers associated with traditional qualifications.

There are spaces for 50 casual cooks to achieve the skills and experience they need to become certified chefs, and for more employers to gain the skilled workforce they depend on.



The Department of Employment, Small Business and Training (DESBT) held the Noosa Add1 to your Workforce event, offering employers information on how to attract, retain and upskill staff. Resources available to businesses include:

Noosa Council – Business Support Panel

An initiative of Noosa Council’s Economic Development team in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the aim is to support local businesses as they start, grow and adapt. The program provides Noosa businesses with free access to specialist advisors across key business focus areas. Noosa business owners and operators can access free personalised support from the Business Support Panel. Noosa Council will subsidise up to 2 hours of support from an approved panelist.

Business owners can arrange a one-on-one (face-to-face or virtual) appointment for up to 2 hours at no cost to them. The business panelist will provide specialist advice specific to your business challenge so you can take action in your business.


Free short courses for staff

DESBT has also developed short courses, released in conjunction with TAFE Queensland. They are free to enrol in and are available to any business operating anywhere in Queensland.


Australian Apprenticeship Support Providers

These four organisations will help you with questions about incentives and subsidies available to your business for employing an apprentice or trainee. DESBT encourages you to contact any one of the four of your choice as they all do the same job on behalf of the Australian and Queensland Governments. They will also help you with training contract paperwork if you decide to employ someone under a traineeship or apprenticeship.

Busy at Work – 132 879, busy@busyatwork.com.au | www.busyatwork.com.au

MAS National – 1300 627 628, info@masnational.com.au | www.masnational.com.au

MEGT (Australia) Ltd – 136 348, anpinfo@megt.com.au | www.megt.com.au

Sarina Russo Job Access (Australia) Pty Ltd – 1300 178 776, apprenticeship@sarinarusso.com.au | www.sarinarusso.com.au

Noosa Community Training Centre

The Noosa Community Training Centre has students and trainees undertaking training and employment programs. They will support your business to find the right person for your needs and have a variety of training areas including employability and foundational skills courses, construction traineeships, hospitality (front and back of house) and business.

The centre may also have some options for upskilling current team members within your business.

FIND OUT MORE Phone 07 5449 7700 or email reception@nctc.com.au

One-on-One discussion with DESBT Regional staff

DESBT are more than happy to meet with business owners at any time that suits to discuss your specific needs further and see how they can help with any needs you have around your business or your workforce. Please feel free to request a call back and they will arrange contact directly.

Wage subsidy support for industry apprentices and employers

To address staff shortages, the Australian Apprenticeships Incentive System provides support to priority occupations through wage subsidies. The Australian Apprenticeships Priority List now lists the following apprenticeships as eligible for wage subsidies:

  • Chef
  • Cook
  • Pastry cook

Support for employers

Employers of apprentices listed on the Priority List may be eligible for a Priority Wage Subsidy, set at 10 per cent of the apprentice’s wages for the first and second year (up to a maximum of $1,500), and 5 per cent of the apprentice’s wages in the third year (up to a maximum of $750 per quarter).

Support for apprentices

An apprentice undertaking a qualification at either Certificate III, IV, Diploma, or Advanced Diploma level may be eligible for an Apprentice Training Support Payment of up to $5,000 for two years of their apprenticeship.



Find how to access Federal and State Government support.


Upskill your staff - free, flexible courses

Hundreds of free tourism and hospitality-related online courses are available to operators and their staff. The flexible and bite-sized courses through QTIC are a great way to upskill and onboard new and current employees.

They can help fill skill gaps and inspire current employees to stay by demonstrating your commitment to their learning and career progression.



Free and low-cost tourism and hospitality courses are available to help jobseekers, school leavers and young people find work and explore new opportunities through Job Trainer. The courses are supported by the Queensland Government.



Queensland tourism operators are invited to use the free Work in Paradise program to connect with job seekers from around Australia. Businesses can post job vacancies for free.



Tourism operators are encouraged to get involved in Tourism and Events Queensland’s new campaign to attract Working Holiday Makers back to the state – they were an important part of the visitor economy pre-COVID-19.

Accommodation and experiences providers are invited to load a deal through the campaign to help lure these valuable travellers to Queensland. It’s free and easy to list a deal through ATDW and is a great opportunity to leverage the high traffic volumes being driven to the Working Holiday Makers hub on Queensland.com which has information to help them plan their holiday, working arrangements, accommodation and much more.

You can also contract your experience offerings through Backpacker Deals, a Travello-owned business, to further leverage the Working Holidayer pass which gives travellers $200 of free experiences to be booked through their website. Tourism businesses can also use the campaign logo in their marketing or choose a marketing package.



Help your staff gain the skills they need to join a kitchen as an apprentice chef with a free intensive course, Certificate III in Commercial Cookery, through TAFE Queensland and the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training.



The Department of Employment, Small Business and Training has a range of help and information for small businesses who are starting out, need support to recover or want to take their business to the next level.

The Department's staff are happy to visit any business that is interested in finding out more - just request a call-back or see the QR code on the flyer below.

Business health check

Business Queensland - one-stop shop for all things business:

  • Free online training
  • Small business grants schedule
  • How you can supply goods and services to the Qld Govt
  • Mentoring for Growth
  • Business events calendar
  • Qld Small Business Commissioner

Chamber of Commerce & Industry Queensland

Running your business:

  • Small business solutions
  • Workforce planning connect
  • Small business financial counselling program

Dept of Employment, Small Business & Training:

  • Back to work support payments for eligible employers who hire eligible job seekers, apprentices and trainees
  • Supply 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games
  • Skilling Queenslanders for Work
  • JobTrainer
  • Free TAFE for under 25s
  • Free apprenticeships for under 25s
  • Trade Skills Assessment and Gap Training