Moyne Shire Council and Commerce Moyne have joined forces to help connect seasonal workers and businesses and boost staff numbers ahead of the busy summer tourist season.
The two organisations will work together connecting willing workers and businesses looking for staff by listing their details online as part of the Work and Play program.
The Work and Play pilot program was introduced in Port Fairy in December and January 2022-23 providing seasonal workers with cut-price accommodation at Southcombe Lodge.
The Work and Play program will operate again this year at the council-run caravan park from late-November 2023 to January 2024.
The working holiday accommodation packages were introduced after the 2021-22 summer season when several short-staffed Port Fairy businesses were forced to close during the busiest time of the year while many others had to reduce their opening hours.
Port Fairy's not alone, with many south-west employers across various industries struggling to find workers for at least the past 18 months, as long-term housing shortages prevent prospective employees from moving to the region.
Moyne Shire Council mayor Karen Foster said it had launched a significant marketing campaign to attract workers to Port Fairy for the upcoming 2023-24 summer months.
Ms Foster said last year the program helped 10 local businesses find staff for the peak tourist season.
She said the additional workers ensured businesses could operate with extra capacity and offer both residents and visitors a great summer experience.
"Hospitality businesses were among the hardest hit during the pandemic, and many are still facing challenges with an ongoing shortage of workers, so through our economic development unit, council stepped in to assist, creating Work and Play," Cr Foster said.
Tahnee Horvat from Bank St and Co cafe said it attracted additional staff through the program which allowed the business to open more often and give staff days off which reduced worker burnout.
Ms Foster said this year Commerce Moyne and the council had joined forces to launch the online worker and business connection service.
Ms Foster said all Moyne Shire businesses were welcome to request subsidised accommodation for seasonal staff, but preference would be given to hospitality and tourism-related businesses.
Go to commercemoyne.au/work-and-play/ to register for the worker and business connection service.
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