Home' Hospitality Business : HB JULY 2017 Contents One of the Restaurant Association’s focus areas in 2017 has been to
work even more closely with Government as an influencer on policy.
Recently it’s been particularly important for us to strongly represent
the hospitality industry’s viewpoint in light of challenges from a
number of areas to the way we do business. Immigration policy, food
safety, sale & supply of alcohol and employment come to mind.
The hospitality industry is a $9 billion per year industry that employs
over 120,000 employees across 17,000 businesses, so policy makers
need to stop and listen to what the industry has to say. We are a
powerhouse of New Zealand’s economy! So with just a few months
until the NZ elections, the Association is calling on all of the major
parties to consider sensible policy that will ensure that our hospitality
businesses remain viable, today and into the future.
The Association has sourced the opinion of our members to find the
common challenges for the hospitality industry throughout New Zealand
and these are the things that we want to see as a focus for any incoming
Government - policies that encourage our continuing success.
THE FOLLOWING ASPIRATIONS ARE CENTRAL
TO ALL OF OUR POLITICAL DISCUSSIONS.
We want better recognition for the significant impact that hospitality
has on New Zealand’s economy and the integral part that it plays in
tourism. Government needs to invest in initiatives that are specifically
targeted to support the growth and recognition of this industry. Our
vibrant hospitality scene is a vital component to attracting tourists to
New Zealand as more of our businesses gain recognition internationally
for their innovation and expertise. Help us to capitalise on additional
opportunities to promote our achievements on a global stage.
We are working hard, however even more needs to be done to
encourage hospitality as a career pathway of choice. The Restaurant
Association welcomes the opportunity to work on further initiatives
that inspire young New Zealanders to choose hospitality.
The hospitality industry is one of the country’s largest employers
and due to the burgeoning nature of the industry it has also been
noted that a great deal more workers will need to enter the industry
between now and 2020. To meet employee demand there is a
continued need for quality training and education.
The Restaurant Association works on a number of initiatives that
promote recruitment and retention in hospitality. One of these
programmes is the Association’s ProStart programme. In partnership
with the Ministry of Social Development and created through
consultation with the hospitality industry, ProStart introduces
students to the basics of hospitality. We train beneficiaries over
four weeks to ready them for work (or get them back into work) in
hospitality, with an overall goal of employment upon completion.
Trainee participants gain valuable insight into a career in the
hospitality industry and acquire key skills for entering employment
and further education in our industry. The programme also assists
Government to achieve its objective to reduce unemployment rates.
Attracting more New Zealanders into the industry is vital to our future
sustainability. Further investment in platforms like the ProStart
initiative are needed to ensure broader reach to those joining, or
re-joining, the workforce. The Restaurant Association welcomes the
opportunity to implement further projects, with our overall objective
being to encourage more employees into hospitality as a career
pathway of choice.
Despite the policy makers argument to the contrary, the hospitality
industry currently suffers from a labour shortage. We rely on
skilled workers from overseas to fill the void. When no suitable New
Zealanders are available strategies that ensure migrant workers
can continue to be a part of the hospitality mix are important. The
Restaurant Association welcomes the opportunity to work with
Government on employment policy that recognises the industry’s needs.
As outlined above, the Association is committed to work on initiatives
that fulfil Government’s objectives around attracting more New
Zealanders to work in hospitality; however, currently migrant
workers are an important part of our workforce. Immigration policy
should enable the efficient functioning of the labour market and not
disadvantage hospitality businesses. The industry is predominantly
composed of small owner / operator businesses which are not
equipped with HR departments to manage complicated, time
consuming and costly administrative processes.
Ultimately a temporary work policy must not inhibit business growth
and competitiveness and we will continue to advocate for a more
sensible approach to immigration policy.
Whatever outcomes we see as a result of the September election the
Restaurant Association will be strongly advocating on the industry’s
behalf for strategies that address the needs of our flourishing
industry and promote economic and business growth. If you’d like to
call us to discuss these points further phone 0800 737 827.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Restaurant Association NZ
Marisa Bidois - Chief Executive
POLICY MAKERS NEED TO STOP & LISTEN
Hospitality BUSINESS | July 2017 | 39
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