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The tourism industry has long faced labour skill shortages, which is currently exacerbated by competing demand for skilled labour in other sectors. Australia's Red Centre faces additional challenges in attracting and retaining a skilled workforce due to the low population base, the seasonal nature of the work, and the transient population. 

The Northern Territory is experiencing the most prominent shortages and for this reason is the first region, along with Broome in Western Australia, in which the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism (DRET) are investing resources to explore the key, region specific, issues and develop and implement strategies to address these issues.

UniQuest, the commercialisation arm of the University of Queensland (UQ), has been appointed by DRET to deliver the Red Centre Tourism Employment Plan Factsheet. UniQuest team members, including the UQ School of Tourism and EC3 Global, will work closely with local tourism operators, education and training providers and government over the next 12 months building on their previous experience consulting in the Northern Territory for the NT tourism strategy Towards 2020: The Territory Tourism Strategic Plan

Consultations with panel members, industry stakeholder groups and individuals will commence in Alice Springs on 28 May and Yulara on 30 May 2012 and will focus on the labour and skills issues faced by the tourism industry in the Red Centre and available resources, and will discuss gaps in the delivery of resources to address the key issues. 

Later stages of the consultation process will explore strategies and implementation plans designed to address the issues being experienced in the region. 

In the course of this project ongoing support for tourism industry employers will be developed through Sustainable Tourism Online, providing tools and resources to inform training and skill development, human resource practice and implementation of career development pathways supported by best practice case examples. 

The Red Centre Tourism Employment Plan will be launched in early 2013.

For further information contact


This document touches on a number of issues such as employment challenges, partnerships and upskilling programs. Download the full synopsis here.

EC3 Global together with the University of Queensland School of Tourism (UQ SoT) have been appointed to prepare the Red Centre Tourism Plan

EC3 Global is Australia’s longest running dedicated tourism consulting firm, with 25 years experience in destination management and strategic planning for tourism destinations. 

The UQ SoT project team members are seasoned industry practitioners who combine their years of direct industry experience with academic credentials specific to the workforce challenges facing the Red Centre.