Seasonal workers move between island and snow jobs
Sunday, September 19, 2010, 12:28 pm
Tourism industry employers and work agencies say more workers, particularly young adults, are taking seasonal jobs in a quest for career, lifestyle and sea changes.
Young workers are targeting destination jobs spots such as the New South Wales and Victorian snowfields and North Queensland’s Whitsunday Islands to experience a lifestyle or career change.
Meaghan Craig, assistant human resources manager at Hayman Island’s Resort, says working in a seasonal job is ideal for people wanting to balance work and play.
“It’s a lifestyle experience for them,” she said.
“A lot of the candidates we get applying for jobs have just finished high school or have recently started hospitality related jobs and want to come up here for a lifestyle change or an opportunity to move their careers forward.”
Ms Craig says applying to work in a resort environment like Hayman Island also gives candidates a choice of job positions in a wide range of areas.
“Most of our jobs are hospitality related, like being at the front office, food and beverage related, or housekeeping-type roles, but we have a lot of other positions too,” she said.
“There are basic roles such as stewarding, landscaping positions, positions within the marine department, and even in water sports.”
New recruits ‘weekly’
She says the Hayman Resort has approximately 350 employees at any time, with new recruits arriving weekly.
“We get a lot of candidates from the snow after the snow season has finished,” she said.
“New employees arrive almost every Monday, so there are always fresh faces coming on board.
“Our average employee stays about nine months before they move on.”
Ms Craig says the appeal to young people in particular is the close community among the employees and activities available to them on their days off.
“Most of our staff twin-share accommodation so they make a good group of friends while working here – it’s a really good environment,” she said.
“We have a lot of activities they can do on their days off that they get at discounted rates.
“Any of the water sports activities, snorkelling, diving, and opportunities to explore the Great Barrier Reef are really popular.”
Ms Craig says the environment and opportunities seasonal jobs offer tend to attract two types of people – those who are career-driven and those who are lifestyle-driven.
Snow, sea changes
Barry Brebner, author of the Workabout Australia books and founder of the Workabout Australia club, says he agrees.
“I have certainly seen an increase in young adults looking for work in the snow and on the islands, but it’s not only young people but mature workers too, and they’re probably one of the most popular destinations for work,” he said.
Mr Brebner says Workabout Australia was created for people looking for something different in their work.
“I get a lot of enquiries from people who are stressed in their current jobs, unsure of their future, and just wanting to know what is out there,” he said.
“A lot of people are now looking for a different lifestyle, that sea change of getting out of the hurly burly and enjoying caravanning and meeting new people, visiting new places and working while they travel.”
Mr Brebner says while many employers are now prepared to employ people for shorter periods of time and there are more people who think they are suited to seasonal work, many people are unsure where to start.
“What I try to do is give people a knowledge of what is out there,” he said.
“There are so many jobs occurring across Australia and a lot of people don’t know about them.
“Workabout Australia is able to reassure people that there are opportunities out there.”