Rental crisis a factor in staff crunch as worker shortage continues into new year

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Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
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ACCI's chief executive officer Mark Forrest has left the position after a short tenure.
Camera IconACCI's chief executive officer Mark Forrest has left the position after a short tenure. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

Albany Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Benita Cattalini says the worker shortage that hit Albany business in 2020 is not over yet.

While COVID-19 subsidy payments and travel restrictions had played a part in the staff shortage, Ms Cattalini said the city’s rental crisis was now a key factor.

“Even as people find workers, it is hard to secure appropriate accommodation,” she said. “There are still many businesses that need staff — in the agricultural sector, financial services sector, accommodation and hospitality providers, tourism operators and those that need managers.

“Because of these shortages many businesses have had to reduce hours so that the staff they have can rest.

“Many business owners are working long hours still, to cover for staff they cannot attract.”

In a particularly busy tourist season, she said it was important to give people a good impression of Albany. Students returning home over summer holidays had eased the pressure for some businesses.

New TAFE courses and businesses offering job training had also helped fill vacant positions.

“It is important to our business community and economy that new visitors have the very best experience of our region,” she said.

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