Waiter carrying food
Visitor economy is reopening quickly and set for strong future growth

Victoria University Polytechnic is offering free courses to fast-track new workers into entry-level roles in Victoria’s rapidly recovering hospitality and tourism sectors – known broadly as the visitor economy.

The sector is now reopening with a strong workforce demand, but many businesses report they are unable to find skilled workers following an exodus of hospitality and tourism staff during COVID-forced business closures.

The lack of international students, backpackers, and other temporary migrants who normally fill entry-level roles has compounded this workforce shortage.

Guaranteed job interviews

The Visitor Economy Work-Ready program will provide hands-on practical learning at VU Polytechnic’s state-of-the-art training restaurant, VenU at the Footscray Nicholson Campus.

Upon completion, students have guaranteed job interviews at prestigious leading employers and partner organisations. They include:

  • Accor: Art Series, Ibis, Mantra, Mercure, Movenpick, Novotel, Peppers, Pullman, The Como, Sofitel, Quay West Suites
  • Delaware North: Marvel Stadium, MCG, Melbourne and Olympic Parks
  • LUCAS Restaurants:  Baby, Chin Chin, GOGO Bar, Grill Americano, Hawker Hall, Kisumé, Society, Yakimono
  • RACV Resorts and Clubs: City Club, Cape Schanck, Cobram, Goldfields, Healesville, Inverloch and Torquay
  • Riverland Group: BANG BANG, Hotel Railway, Pilgrim, Riverland, The Boatbuilders Yard, The General Assembly
  • Comfort Apartments Royal Gardens

Program information

The program starts on Tuesday 26 April in three streams:

  • Travel and Tourism – (roles such as front office, trainee tour guide, or retail attendant)
    Course duration: 26 April – 3 May
  • Front-of-House – (food and beverage attendant, function and catering attendant or barista)  
    Course duration: 26 April – 4 May
  • Back-of-House – (kitchen hand, cook or commis/larder chef)
    Course duration: 26 April – 9 May.

Sector set for strong growth

With Victoria’s visitor economy targeted to reach $35 billion in annual visitor spending supporting 300,000 jobs by mid-2024, there are significant opportunities for career growth in the sector.

Students who complete the Work-Ready Program can pathway into further training and education at VU Polytechnic and Victoria University.  The School for the Visitor Economy offers a range of courses at all levels in hospitality, tourism, events and cookery.

Both domestic and international students are welcome to apply for the program.

Find more information and registration