Local Employers Meet International Students at Matchmaker Event

Regional Development Australia Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu & Kangaroo Island and StudyAdelaide, in partnership with Alexandrina Council and City of Victor Harbor, recently played matchmaker at McCracken Country Club in Victor Harbor.

As part of an Industry Expo, 30 international students and graduates who had travelled to the Fleurieu were introduced to prospective employers to explore current and future work opportunities in the hospitality and tourism sector in the region.

StudyAdelaide Chief Executive, Jane Johnston, said StudyAdelaide and RDA AHFKI had received overwhelming interest in the tour from both students and employers.

“Research of our student database in December 2020 indicated that more than 50 per cent of international students would consider working in a regional area outside of Adelaide. That equates to thousands of students keen to find employment and willing to look outside of greater Adelaide – which is good news for major regional employers dealing with skills shortages and gaps in their workforce.”

Connecting employers with skilled workers

RDA AHFKI Regional Workforce Manager, Richard Scollin, has been working closely with employers to identify opportunities and skills shortages across the Fleurieu region. “Through our partnership with the State Government’s Regional Work South Australia program, we’ve been connecting with employers directly to discuss their immediate needs and explore opportunities both into the future and across hidden jobs,” he said.

By connecting directly with employers, we have uncovered vacancies across many industry sectors including hospitality and tourism, health care and social assistance, retail, and agriculture. We know there are multiple opportunities in the hospitality and tourism sector and we’ve shown international students that these jobs are located in great places to live as well.

Richard Scollin, Regional Workforce Manager, RDA AHFKI

Showcasing employment and lifestyle on the Fleurieu

The tourism and hospitality sector was at the heart of this regional tour, with the focus on existing skills shortages including commercial cookery, chefs, hotel management, event management and front/back of house.

Students travelled to Goolwa via bus, where they were greeted by council staff and the RDA AHFKI workforce team, for briefing by community leaders on the benefits of living and working in the region. A trip aboard the Cockle Train for the journey to Victor Harbor was next, giving students an opportunity to view our scenic coastline and lifestyle opportunities.

Upon arrival, students inspected the new causeway before heading to McCracken. Here they heard about current and future work opportunities in the hospitality and tourism sector from a panel of local industry experts that included Kirsten Pitman from Ninos and Locos, Jane Kelly from Discovery Parks, and Henry Mould from The Anchorage.

International hospitality and tourism students who met with local employers on the tour.

Later in the day, students had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with local employers, including Bleasdale Wines and Wirrina Cove Resort. In addition to learning more about work opportunities they were given the opportunity to gain a deeper appreciation of the sorts of skills and qualities local industry employers are looking for.

Critical to the success of this tour was the partnership between Study Adelaide, RDA AHFKI, Alexandrina Council and City of Victor Harbor. This collaboration ensured the event could adequately highlight the lifestyle and community attractions, as well as the employment opportunities in the region.

“We surveyed international students about their interest in regional employment, and it was quite clear that if we presented them with information and opportunities, as we are doing today, they would be more likely to consider working in regional SA.”

Jane Johnston, StudyAdelaide Chief Executive

“It’s a win-win all round,” she said. “International students both gain employment – often in sectors that would otherwise have skills shortages – and create employment, with every three international students in South Australia creating one local job.”