After almost two years since the last AIFS participants arrived in Australia, earlier this week the first group of arrivals touched down in Melbourne. With more groups scheduled in the coming weeks, AIFS’ Managing Director, Wendi Aylward, said today’s milestone was an important one.
“Australian employers are already reaching out to find workers, families are preparing to welcome their Au Pairs,and travel operators are locking in their first tour dates. It is an exciting time for our business and for the broader youth tourism sector”.
Like many in the sector, AIFS has seen the impact of borders closures. Two of AIFS’ largest inbound programs, “Work&Travel” helps participants secures work in the hospitality and agricultural sectors, while “AIFS Au Pair” places au pairs from around the world with Australian families. Ms Aylward, who is also the spokesperson for the youth tourism sector’s BYTAP said AIFS has been focusing on candidates for jobs in the hospitality and tourism sector-a sector which has experienced acute labour shortages in recent months.
“We know the struggles so many companies have experienced finding staff. While we only make a small impact, every job filled, takes our industry one step forward towards recovery.”
As one of the few companies that also sends young Australians overseas, Ms Aylward said AIFS’ strong outbound interest was looking to be matched by inbound demand as more AIFS groups were locked in for the coming months.
“Australia is an attractive youth destination.It’s natural beauty, together with plentiful work opportunities is a strong draw card. The strong bookings to date are testament to that.”