Fishing skills

Tackling skills shortages in the events sector: “a crisis”

The Skills Hiring and Training sectors offer initiatives to address the shortage of experienced workers in the events sector.

Shortage threatens to draw a red as it returns to the fast lane, with no quick fix expected.

Badi Mahabat, co-founder and managing director of recruitment solutions company Casual Hands, and Jo Gaddes, award-winning Senior Professional Education Teacher (Events) at TAFE Queensland (Gold Coast Campus) describe the problem as “a crisis”.

“My clients’ requirements are made more difficult in that when you find the bodies, they also have to have the necessary skills and experience,” says Mahabat.

“After COVID, they migrated to other jobs where the benefits and conditions were better. There is a security in getting a good salary right now, why would they come back now? »

Gaddes believes that the events and hospitality sectors are currently managing tight budgets.

“So that’s another issue in their recovery,” says Gaddes, “they’re competing with better pay, flex hours, working from home, and working mothers part-time, which they don’t have. started to offer yet.”

With a low expectation of an immediate employment outcome in events, enrollment in courses associated with live performance has plummeted at TAFE QLD over the past two years, as has been the case with most TAFEs across the country.

“There are areas in the events industry, like weddings and sports, that are doing pretty well,” Gaddes offers.

“Hopefully now the live events have started again, and we’ve seen great attendance at festivals, it will have a big impact.

“When people start to see the industry is back, they’ll be like, ‘This is the industry I want to be in.'”

TAFE QLD has a modified training program.

In June, the Federal Government, after consultation with industry, added more compulsory units that every student studying in Australia must study.

Two are event production and staffing.

“They also added a more business and marketing approach to the degree,” Gaddes points out.

“Another novelty is to develop promotions, so it’s about generating work, on how to put together a proposal to win this event.

“TAFE QLD has always had sponsors and volunteers for marketing and management. “But it’s good to see that industry and government as a whole felt that these units were central to the study.”

TAFE QLD and Casual Hands are proactive in developing students and clients.

TAFE QLD works with QTIC (Queensland Tourism Industry Council) organizing Come And Try days for the tourism, events and hospitality industry for young school leavers and job seekers to find out what it’s all about might look like as a craft.

He is involved in the study on the crisis resilience strategy focusing on tourism.

It holds regular consultations with industry and sets up industry working groups to discuss training needs and industry requirements for students.

Students also work with staff at events such as Blues on Broadbeach, Cooly Rocks On, the Gold Coast Music Awards, Splendor In the Grass, Springtime and Groundwater.

It is also showcasing the events industry its new state-of-the-art Gold Coast campus, opened in July, purpose-built for events and featuring 250 solar panels to power the building and recyclable fishing line sourced from Australia. Asia.

Casual Hands, with offices in Canberra and Sydney, provide staff for hospitality, events, cleaning, security and customer service.

Clients include AGB Events, Royal Randwick and ICC Sydney.

Mahabat says, “We are happy to offer a refresher course, which we feel is necessary just to give customers the basic requirements they want.

“Many clients change and adapt, and have had to move their staff to rebuild their base.

“They expect more versatility in their staff, and it’s difficult because we’re struggling to find staff at the very basic level.

“They don’t necessarily have the budget to hire additional staff to make up for the lack of experience.”

Another offering to clients in these tumultuous times is new staff management and reporting software that Mahabat has developed and is being hailed as a game changer for the industry.

Luigi Jobs is a new event staff management system that streamlines the process of staff recruitment, onboarding, onboarding and training. The platform will be showcased exclusively to delegates at this year’s Australian Festival Industry Conference as part of its New Product Showcase segment.


Gaddes and Mahabat appear at the Australian Festival Industry Conference (August 30 – September 1) at Sea World Resort on the Gold Coast. Tickets are on sale now. They are part of a panel on Workforce Skills and Labor Shortages: Planning for the Future. They will be joined by Gayle O’Brien, from the Queensland Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport.