A survey of event professionals by a partnership of Australia’s meeting industry associations has highlighted a skills shortage in the sector.
The Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB) partnered with Meetings & Events Australia (MEA) and the Exhibitions and Events Association of Australasia (EEAA) to produce the survey in which one in two respondents reported that the current skills shortage affects their organisation’s ability to recruit high calibre events professionals.
The survey elicited a response rate of 39% and the report’s authors concluded the shortage was primarily driven by a lack of candidate experience, high salary expectations and an overall shortage of candidates.
AACB CEO, Andrew Hiebl said: “We look forward to working collaboratively with the business events industry to remedy the skills shortages impacting this broad and dynamic sector. Through this research, we aim to drive positive policy decisions of governments in favour of an industry that contributes around A$30bn (US$23.9bn) to the Australian economy each year.
“To maintain Australia’s competitive advantage internationally, we must continue to lead with the professionalism of our workforce.”
Chair of MEA, Anne Jamieson, said the outcomes from the survey provided a significant opportunity to assess the current industry situation and to plan for the future.
“This survey, which has been the first of its kind into the Australian business events sector, has provided valuable data that will assist MEA to develop improved education programmes that upskill the current workforce and to attract more workers to events industry,” Jamieson said.
“This is of particular importance at the operational level, which has been identified as an area where skills gaps are most prominent,” she added.
Joyce DiMascio (pictured), chief executive of the EEAA, said that insights gained into the Australian business events sector by the study would drive the industry forward.
“It is very pleasing to see the support this survey received from our industry, which has provided us with a great opportunity to work together for the betterment of our Members and the business events sector,” DiMascio said.
Copies of the skills shortage data can be accessed on the MEA website here