Hospo boss stunned as no one applies for jobs
A GOLD Coast hospitality boss is stunned he's struggling to fill jobs as the city claws its way back from the economic devastation wrought by the coronavirus.
The pandemic has had a scattershot effect when it comes to the job market.
Some businesses have been laying off staff and slashing hours, while others have been hunting for new workers as business remains stable or picks up as COVID-19 cases plummet.
Hospitality stalwart Scott Imlach said he had been trying in vain to fill more than a dozen jobs for weeks and could not believe the positions had not been snapped up.
Mr Imlach, behind venues including Hideaway Kitchen and Bar at Broadbeach, Mr Hizola's at Burleigh and Bine Bar and Dining at Mermaid Beach, is receiving text messages from others in the industry also looking for reliable workers.
"I'm hiring at the moment. I have about 10-15 (jobs) available right now," he said.
"That includes chefs, managers, bartenders, food handlers - a bit of everything really.
"I can't fill them, hence why I have so many jobs."
Asked why interest was low, Mr Imlach said: "Jobseeker, mate".
He was adamant the Federal Government's COVID-19 welfare payment was a big factor.
"Since we've got back to work, we've had 10 people resign and some say it's easier for them to go on Jobseeker," he said.
"It's very disappointing. We're trying to move forward and we can't find staff. We know there's people out there looking for work but we just can't find them.
"We've advertised all over the place and we've had probably three applications."
Mr Imlach said he would continue to hunt for workers.
Metricon Queensland general manager Luke Fryer said the city construction industry weathered the COVID-19 storm relatively easily.
There's jobs up for grabs for skilled tradespeople and those in sales, for example.
"It's been a real rollercoaster since March," he said.
"Since (Prime Minister) Scott Morrison came out with the HomeBuilder grant, that has absolutely underpinned a huge increase in housing demand. It's been remarkable.
"We have probably upwards of a dozen new jobs on the Gold Coast and in the last eight weeks we've filled about a dozen more.
"We're getting high volumes of applicants, which is great. Certainly more than usual, and not surprisingly we're getting cross-industry applicants."
Mr Fryer said one of Metricon's new salespeople was a woman who previously owned a boutique clothing store in Brisbane
"She had to shut her doors due to COVID and she joined the housing market," he said.
Two other new hires include a man formerly involved in cruise ship travel and another fellow who used to sell international trips.
"We love that we're doing okay and can provide opportunities for people. They bring skills across and we help them with the housing side of things. How good's that?" Mr Fryer said.
New Point Recruitment director David Ford said the varying impacts of the coronavirus on the job market have been tough to predict.
"You've got some sectors pushing hard, doing really well, and then others who've been beaten quite a bit. Some have contracted and some have actually expanded," he said.
"The magic word is pivot. A lot of businesses have pivoted, looked at different service offerings and they're thriving. Other areas have been decimated."
He said some professional services like accounting, finance and marketing had "boomed".
Mr Ford said some workers may have switched focus from their usual employment, such as hospitality, perceiving industries to be still stagnant.
"We've had a lot of candidates come through with hospitality experience," he said.
But he echoed Mr Imlach and said it was likely Jobseeker played a part in employer struggles.
"You may have had a person doing two days a week, then they're on Jobseeker getting double the money," he said.
"The wake up call is only happening as it gets pared back.
"My prediction is over the next fortnight, when the money starts to dry up, people are going to start looking at the job market again."
Mr Ford said New Point has had less people through the doors looking for work recently.
"People can jump into the job market right now, when there's not a lot of people on the market," he said.
"Or they join the busier job market earlier next year. It will make it tougher for them then."
Figures from the National Institute for Economic and Industry Research indicated the Coast's economy took the biggest hit of any regional Australian city in the COVID-19 crisis.
Originally published as 'We can't fill them': Hospo boss stunned as no one applies for jobs