Peel Development Commission turn up the heat on hospitality hub concept

A Mandurah-based training hub for people pursuing work in the region’s hospitality or tourism industry could be in the pipeline, thanks to a proposal created by the Peel Development Commission.

The proposed “Peel Hospitality Institute” would be designed to ensure there was an ongoing supply of skilled workers for restaurants, bars, cafés, and tourism outlets in the region.

There are currently 7,200 jobs in hospitality and tourism in the Peel region, which represents 21 per cent of the total workforce.  

By 2015, the Peel Development Commission reports have projected there will be about 9,400 local jobs in the industries.

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While still in its early stages, Peel Development Commission chairwoman Paddi Creevy said the idea was aimed at increasing the training opportunities for the region’s youth and unemployed.

“We’re just wanting to make sure we’ve got the best training available for people in the region because tourism and hospitality are very important industries,” she said. 

“The commission is keen to work with the City of Mandurah and are glad to have their support to look at investigating a concept that could result in a regionally significant hospitality training centre in Mandurah. 

“We’ve got to make sure that we get the right facilities so that people have the best opportunities.

“We don’t don’t know what this will look like at the moment. 

“There’s a lot of work being done on our workforce strategy for the region. We know the diversification of our economy is important. 

“We’re looking to ensure we get really good options available for people so that they can have jobs that will lead them into great careers.”

Ms Creevy said the commission had been working through concepts to develop a proposal for some time.

In 2010, there were only six people living in the region were undertaking training as a trainee or apprentices. 

In 2015, that total jumped to a whopping 130, which is a 153 per cent increase. 

Of those people, 68 per cent were trained outside of the Peel region. 

Among other potential outcomes from the proposal, Ms Creevy highlighted the development of a skilled, qualified and demand ready workforce. 

Unemployment in the region currently sits at 8.8 per cent, with youth employment at 18.8 per cent. 

A total of 3,500 people are seeking work.

On August 7, Ms Creevy joined Peel Development Commission chief executive officer Andrew Ward to present City of Mandurah councillors with detailed analysis on industry demand, the workforce, potential outcomes and options of the concept. 

The duo urged council to consider funding the development of a business case to attract state and federal government financial support for the proposal.

The matter will be discussed at the council’s official meeting on August 28. 

Follow Caitlyn Rintoul on Twitter via @caitlynrintoul.