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The TAFE NSW Tourism Industry Skills Reference Group is working with industry stakeholders to ensure skills training is aligned with tourism workforce needs following the impacts of the pandemic.

The Tourism Industry Skills Reference Group is made up of high profile representatives from the TAFE NSW Tourism and Experiences Services SkillsPoint, NSW Tourism Advisory Council, Destination NSW, Merlin Entertainment, Australia Tourism Export Council, Dave’s Travel Group, and the Australian Federation of Travel Agents.

In 2018–19, tourism contributed $60.8 billion to Australian GDP and provided jobs for more than 5% of the national workforce (666,000 people) [1]. The tourism sector has been hit harder than most other industries by the COVID-19 crisis, and skills training will play a large role in preparing businesses for a post-pandemic environment.

TAFE NSW Head of Tourism and Experience Services SkillsPoint, Andrea Poletti said the Tourism Industry Skills Reference Group is developing a Skills and Training Recovery Plan to help employers navigate the post-COVID-19 world.

“We recently surveyed travel and tourism professionals to obtain their input on the skills and training required to assist their business and sector in COVID-19 recovery. 

“Early results from the survey indicate that operationalising COVID-19 protocols, digital marketing and agile leadership are some of the training areas important to the sector.”

Industry Skills Reference Groups play a critical role in the collaboration of TAFE NSW and key industry stakeholders to rapidly redesign skills training and adapt to evolving business needs.

“While the COVID-19 crisis continues to evolve, the work we are undertaking now means our industry partners can have continued confidence about working with TAFE NSW to skill up their people on the other side of the pandemic.” Ms Poletti said.

TAFE NSW graduate Jack Robinson is employed as a Passenger Service Agent at Sydney Airport after completing a Certificate III in Tourism. Mr Robinson is encouraging others to consider an exciting and fulfilling career in the travel industry which he assures will still be here when the pandemic subsides.

“People travel for lots of reasons; family, leisure and business. If you are like me and working in the industry is something you have always wanted to do, I would highly recommend enrolling in a TAFE NSW course now to be ready for employment opportunities.

“Thanks to my Certificate III in Tourism I am employed in my dream career. The course prepared me with practical skills and knowledge that I use in my current role, especially when answering questions from passengers,” Mr Robinson said.

“When I walk through the terminal or board an aircraft, I have to pinch myself that I am there. Working in an airport is something that can’t be replicated in another job.”

To find out more about travel and tourism course on offer at TAFE NSW in Semester 2, visit or call 131 601. 

Media contact: Kellie Dillon, 0408 006 866,