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AFTA Advocacy - August

Since our last newsletter, AFTA has appointed a new Director of Public Policy & Advocacy, Ingrid Fraser. Ingrid brings extensive expertise in policy development, advocacy, government relations and stakeholder engagement at all levels of government. Her appointment aligns with AFTA’s key emphasis on supporting travel businesses and the wider sector in rebuilding the workforce post-pandemic, and strengthening the industry’s ability to engage with Governments around Australia.

Continuing our focus on addressing skills and workforce shortages in the travel sector, we have written to all State and Territory Skills and Training Ministers to advocate for entry level travel qualifications to be supported with government funding. The ability to access subsidised or fee-free qualifications would serve to remove some of the barriers people may face when looking to gain qualifications in travel and enter employment in the sector. This week we have also made a submission to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) comprehensive review of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO), which describes all occupations in the labour market. Ensuring ANZSCO is correct and up to date means the right data will be collected to help policy makers make informed decisions around education and skills initiatives, as well as funding.

Also on the workforce front, the Federal Minister for Trade and Tourism, Don Farrell, recently announced $7.5 million to be shared between State and Territory government bodies to attract workers to the visitor economy. Grants have been awarded in the Choose Tourism Program to develop new programs and campaigns, extend existing activities to attract new workers, and ensure they have the right skills. We are liaising with the grant winners to ensure that the travel sector is adequately represented and can benefit from this initiative.

Lastly, you will have likely seen the recent decision from Government to deny Qatar Airways’ application to add 28 flights per week to its services from Doha to Australia. We have written to Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Catherine King, seeking answers as to why this import measure to increase supply and competition was not acted on, and we are continuing our advocacy around improving competition across the travel sector.

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