Forums > General Discussion   Shooting the breeze...

Why are there no career hospitality workers?

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Created by FormulaNova 2 months ago, 12 Jul 2018
FormulaNova
NSW, 7309 posts
12 Jul 2018 7:42PM
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I was just watching a program on SBS where a restauranter couple were saying that in Australia there are no career hospitality workers. They were saying that in Europe there are people that do work in food service for their life, yet they had to get 457 workers here.

I have my own opinion on this, but why is it that it seems to be the case that we don't have people that do this work all the time and it seems to be the domain of backpackers and people doing it as a temp job?

I had some friends that spent quite a few years working in this area, and I think I know what the problems were, but are there other suggestions?

Buster fin
WA, 1725 posts
12 Jul 2018 5:52PM
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Sh!t money and equal conditions?

Underoath
QLD, 2276 posts
12 Jul 2018 7:59PM
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What would a combined income of two adults make in the restaurant game?

70-80k?

About 20k too less to get by in a Capital City.

Mr Milk
NSW, 1247 posts
12 Jul 2018 8:13PM
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Maybe we have a lack of history of a serving class. In Europe they've been at it for centuries, but our migrants came here in chains or to make their fortunes

FormulaNova
NSW, 7309 posts
12 Jul 2018 8:41PM
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Underoath said..
What would a combined income of two adults make in the restaurant game?

70-80k?

About 20k too less to get by in a Capital City.


Yeah, I think everyone agrees. I guess its not difficult to work out, yet it seems some people think its lack of motivation and that people have got it too good here. Hardly.

If you have to work in a capital city to get this sort of work, and the income from that is not enough to afford to rent a decent place or god-forbid buy a place, why would you do it.

So, how is it that we have other people in the economy complaining about minimum wages being too high?

How is it that, according to this couple at least, that in Europe, people work in this field for their whole lives, and presumably by choice?

hilly
WA, 4276 posts
12 Jul 2018 6:53PM
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FormulaNova said.
How is it that, according to this couple at least, that in Europe, people work in this field for their whole lives, and presumably by choice?


We have mining so unskilled workers are paid extremely well. Highest paid tradies in the world. This means everyone pays more due to high wages. Hospitality preys on the desperate and backpackers offering comparatively low wages but a social scene and no chance to move up the food chain.

sn
WA, 2473 posts
12 Jul 2018 7:03PM
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I worked at The Orchard Hotel [Wellington street Perth] '84 - '89, and another 6 months in '96, then at Observation City [that big lump on the Scarb's beachfront] from '96 to '06.
Admittedly , I was in the engineering department and not waiting tables etc.
Hotel wages barely kept up with the incoming bills, the mortgage balance seemed like it was not dropping, so bailed out to the mines where they actually paid me awesomely to blow stuff up, and in less than 4 years I ripped through almost all of the mortgage.

Hotel pay rates too low to get ahead, dodgy rosters, the ever present dodgy managers with unrealistic expectations of what staff workloads should be, the occasional dodgy customer cutting loose after messing about with certain illegal substances [ one might or might not be a one time famous/infamous W.A. footballer], employee burn out, employee suicides -although not regular - they happened....

All add up to locals not staying in the industry any longer than necessary.

so - hospitality here is mainly the realm of students, backpackers, single mums/dads working their 2nd or 3rd job hoping to make ends meet.

busterwa
3599 posts
12 Jul 2018 8:24PM
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Its a full timer job. May not pay the big bucks But Its a reliable source of income. You can flush your hospitality and tourism jobs down dunny here in western Australia. . Blame the job losses on the greens supporters shark huggers and the people who think meat grows on a shelf in a polyurethane packet woollies.

slammin
QLD, 771 posts
13 Jul 2018 5:59AM
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I'm a long term chef. The money sux dogs balls for the effort and skills required. I did the 4yr apprenticeship. The 1st year was less than the dole. It was around the time they 1st mooted about the idea of work for the dole. That didn't happen because everybody agreed that it would be unfair.....

I've stuck with it because I've always held out for day shifts and I actually enjoy cooking.

While I'm replying can anybody tell me of another industry that thinks that split shifts are fair and reasonable? So imagine you come in do 4hrs go home or hang around for 2-3 hrs and then come back to work and do another 4hrs work? With no penalty rates or travel costs etc. So effectively 10hrs and get paid 7 or 8hrs? That's a very common situation in the industry.

Add on to that the idea that weekends aren't relevant anymore. The pollies love to throw that around but I notice parliament don't sit on the weekend. So penalty rates have been whittled away.

Hmmmm you wonder why it's not a career industry? I'm guessing you knew the answer?

Paddles B'mere
QLD, 1622 posts
13 Jul 2018 8:59AM
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Hey FN, I believe the difference is simply money. I wonder whether we would find that in Europe, that the price of prepared meals may be generally higher than here in Australia and that price reflects the actual "cost" of providing that meal. My personal opinion of these guys is that they are simply not meeting the local labour market and offering enough money for the job. They then disguise their "money shortage" problem as a "skills shortage" problem so they can become eligible (in the government's eyes) to get someone from offshore on a 457 visa (or whatever it's called now) for a cost that is less than the labour market demands here in Australia. I have no problems with 457 visas being used to address genuine skills shortages, but if they are being used to undercut the price of the local labour market it is a little bit krap for everybody.

The root cause is either we are not paying the "fair price" for prepared meals, or we are paying the "fair price" and the restaurant owner is simply taking too much profit. We can see this effect in a number of recent high profile IR and financial failures ie 7Eleven, RFG franchises etc.

FormulaNova
NSW, 7309 posts
13 Jul 2018 9:11AM
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slammin said..
I'm a long term chef. The money sux dogs balls for the effort and skills required. I did the 4yr apprenticeship. The 1st year was less than the dole. It was around the time they 1st mooted about the idea of work for the dole. That didn't happen because everybody agreed that it would be unfair.....

I've stuck with it because I've always held out for day shifts and I actually enjoy cooking.



At least you have found a career where you mostly enjoy what you are doing. Its a good thing. I remember my first job too, and it paid less than the dole, but I think a lot of jobs are like that in the first couple of years and probably weeds out the people that won't want to finish.

Split shifts sound like a crazy idea. A way of not paying you when you aren't needed and shifting the effective cost of this back to you. A smart employer would find a way to use that resource during the off-time, but if everyone allows this, then they can just do it. I am sure if

I asked this question about hospitality because it seems obvious to me. If you pay good wages and provide good conditions, people will work for you. If you don't, people will do the work if they have to, but you can't expect any great loyalty or any great pool of talent that you can draw down upon. This applies to all jobs.

Yet, people out there seem to believe this rubbish. 'Local people are too lazy' and 'we pay too much for the dole' are just lazy stupid people thinking that this is the reason why and why they seem happy to push down wages. When someone else is happy to push down your wages but not willing to do the same job, its out of touch.

457 Visas are a sore point with me. They had their place, but there really weren't a good answer to why there were no trained people in various industries. For a short term they might be okay, but without training in parallel and apprenticeship programs to bring new people to the trade, its just a way of getting cheap employees for a short time. It does nothing to solve the long term problem.

One of my work colleagues owns a Greek restaurant. He hired Greek chefs from Greece because 'they are authentic and the food tastes different'. I suspect that there was a bit of 'the local chefs won't work for the rate I want to pay, and they won't listen to me as well as the ones that are under the cloud of a visa' as well.

I wonder how many people have gotten 457 visas over the last few years and are now wincing at the cost of living in Australia. Those Greek chefs aren't going to be deliriously happy about the cost of housing in Sydney compared to Greece. Similarly a lot of Indian and Chinese workers are probably staring at the price of housing and wondering why it is so high.

I think this is also responsible for a lot of jobs now requiring previous experience, whereas before they would take graduate trainees, or trainees, or apprentices. If you can try and fill the role with someone that has already been trained and avoid the costs of training someone up, then you take the lazy way out.

When I started work, there were traineeships and graduate trainee programs, and this was during a down-turn in the economy. Now, I feel so sorry for these Uni students that come out and find that there are no jobs because someone somewhere found it easier to employ cheap labour from overseas.


FormulaNova
NSW, 7309 posts
13 Jul 2018 9:20AM
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Paddles B'mere said..
Hey FN, I believe the difference is simply money. I wonder whether we would find that in Europe, that the price of prepared meals may be generally higher than here in Australia and that price reflects the actual "cost" of providing that meal. My personal opinion of these guys is that they are simply not meeting the local labour market and offering enough money for the job. They then disguise their "money shortage" problem as a "skills shortage" problem so they can become eligible (in the government's eyes) to get someone from offshore on a 457 visa (or whatever it's called now) for a cost that is less than the labour market demands here in Australia. I have no problems with 457 visas being used to address genuine skills shortages, but if they are being used to undercut the price of the local labour market it is a little bit krap for everybody.

The root cause is either we are not paying the "fair price" for prepared meals, or we are paying the "fair price" and the restaurant owner is simply taking too much profit. We can see this effect in a number of recent high profile IR and financial failures ie 7Eleven, RFG franchises etc.


Yeah, I agree.

It does become more complex though when you start throwing different conditions into the mix. I agree with ThePhil somewhat in that some companies have been allowed to pay lower conditions than the marketplace, which just puts the competitors at a disadvantage. The competitors then argue for the same rates and it becomes a race to the bottom.

I am not that careful with my money, but if the difference became $25 for a meal, versus $20, I am not sure I would notice. Unless there was a place nearby offering the same meal for $15.

It does truly bug me when people complain about people being lazy though. Sure, there are some, but as a whole, most people would prefer to have a good reliable job and an income that can allow them some comforts in life, instead of sitting at home watching TV all day.

Maybe WA was a good litmus test over the last couple of years? With a lot of the workforce being drawn to the mines in recent years, it would have created shortages in other areas. The complaints of expensive beer and food over the last few years are probably more like the fair price than any attempt to profiteer.


Paddles B'mere
QLD, 1622 posts
13 Jul 2018 9:57AM
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Absolutely, WA is a great example of inflated prices to meet the labour market. We had the same thing here in QLD before it all softened up once the mining construction boom finished. For example, a few years back guys who lived in Gladstone would drive to Brisbane to buy large household items (fridge, lawnmower etc) and getting a tradesman to lay carpet or repair your hot water system was extremely expensive and took a long time because of low availability of trades. I even remember reading an article where KFC was having to fly workers in to Mt Isa from Cairns in extreme situations just to fill the roster. The hardest thing for us all when a boom finishes is to adjust back to "reality" and it's the business owners that are the last to adjust.

Another thing to throw into the mix here for other industries are "free trade agreements". Effectively, our production labour costs have to be similar to offshore production labour costs (if we use the same technology) in order to remain competitive in a market. It's a brave new world we're joining. There can even be a "free trade" in labour in some instances.

Rupert
TAS, 2101 posts
13 Jul 2018 4:57PM
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Buster fin said..
Sh!t money and equal conditions?


Plus you have to smile nicely whilst dealing with some of the most obnoxious morons on the planet - "The General Public"

Mark _australia
WA, 18152 posts
13 Jul 2018 3:43PM
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I wonder if they do split shift in Europe?

I doubt anyone likes getting up for 0400 to do breakfast shift from 0500, home from 0900 - 1200 then waiting tables from 1200-1400 or so. Then back for 1800-2100 sometimes.

Thats a **** way to live. Maybe in Europe they do 'normal' full shifts not split? I dunno...

Also do they have welfare for people whose lifestyle choices like alcoholism, drugs and obesity makes them "disabled" ...... so they get the dole but don't have to ever apply for jobs or upskill themselves?

Mr Milk
NSW, 1247 posts
13 Jul 2018 6:05PM
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There are careers available in hospitality, same as any other trade. If you work in a big hotel or restaurant chain you can get promotions all the way up. I think the local head of Macca's started at the bottom.
Or you can go out on your own. It's just more expensive to set yourself up with a cafe or a pub than it is to fit out a ute and work as a subbie or builder. On the plus side, if a customer does a runner on a $100 dinner bill there is less of a problem than a head contractor going bankrupt owing you $20 000

hargs
QLD, 556 posts
13 Jul 2018 8:47PM
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hilly said..

FormulaNova said.
How is it that, according to this couple at least, that in Europe, people work in this field for their whole lives, and presumably by choice?



We have mining so unskilled workers are paid extremely well. Highest paid tradies in the world.


We have mining so unskilled workers are paid extremely well. Highest paid tradies in the world.

Don't get me wrong - I'd imagine working in the middle of whoop whoop would suck and one should be remunerated accordingly. But it seems crazy that Johny dead beat with nothing other than a paid for "ticket" can earn more driving an oversized truck from point a to b, than say a fully trained chef, university qualified nurse, paramedic, etc, ...

MDSXR6T
WA, 930 posts
13 Jul 2018 7:51PM
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Paddles B'mere said..
The root cause is either we are not paying the "fair price" for prepared meals, or we are paying the "fair price" and the restaurant owner is simply taking too much profit. We can see this effect in a number of recent high profile IR and financial failures ie 7Eleven, RFG franchises etc.


I think most of us are already paying more than the food is worth and i dare say most cafe or restaurant owners aren't genuinely wealthy so really it just comes down to the overall cost of doing business in Australia.

Long service leave is a perfect example. An employer gives you reliable job, 4 weeks of holidays a year, pays you when you're sick and then after 10 years has to "reward" you with 2 months of extra holiday leave. Ohh yeh, they are then paying someone else to cover you! You can bet most business owners haven't had 20 weeks of holidays in 10 years let alone 48.

Slammin, my old man was a bus driver for 30 years, retired last year and i don't know about the last few years but he did 20+ years of split shifts. Not every week but a lot of them. Wouldn't be much fun!

slammin
QLD, 771 posts
13 Jul 2018 10:21PM
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1stly the expectations of quality vs value have been out of whack for years. I've had patrons asking if the$15fishandchips is wild caught Barra? Add into that rising rents and you have a market of previously marginal returns 10% if successful so you have a race to the bottom just there.

When I started cooking waiters earned more than chefs. We were shouted booze in appreciation but tbey kept the tips. Nowadays the owner pockets the tips and if you don't like it... No shifts for you, it's a casual marketplace and the worker is getting screwed.

Therefore nobody is willing to work for less than rent +food etc therefore 457s are willing. They'll sleep on the premises in hope of the light that they may be residents.

Here in Cairns on the tourist strip and shopping centres of highest rent it's all 457's.

Keep in mind there's also empty establishments that have heaps of 457's paying the owner not the other way around, again in the hopes of residency.

Hospitality as a career is only for the mad. I include myself. : P

Long service leave is unheard of. Ffs 2yrs is long service in this industry.

Scrondies
WA, 58 posts
13 Jul 2018 8:43PM
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I'm just a worker, same industry for the last 12 years, and I haven't had 20 weeks of holidays. Sure I have a build up of hours, can't take them though. I don't take sick days, can't afford to have holidays, but the time I have off is when the work dies down. So no money but no work either, yeah, holidays are great fun ! And no, we don't have savings to rely on, it's week to week. Woohoo

Paddles B'mere
QLD, 1622 posts
14 Jul 2018 9:42AM
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Slammin, you've perfectly described the "abuse" of 457 visas that disgusts me. I can fully understand a construction company needing to source a specialised tradesman on a 457 visa if there is a skills shortage, but a restaurant owner using it to source low paid workers sickens me. And you're right, people's expectations are totally out of whack, they are simply not used to paying the full price for anything.

We can't fully blame the pay in the local mining industry either, it is a global industry with commodity prices set globally and usually in another currency (US dollars) so the costs really reflect the global market. ie a worker in the mining industry doesn't give a rats which sh!thole he works in (whether it be the Pilbara or Mongolia) and so the market for labour is a global market and not local like other service industries so if the pay for a roster in Australia doesn't match the pay for him/her to go to Mongolia then he/her will go and work on a roster in Mongolia.

rod_bunny
WA, 963 posts
14 Jul 2018 11:37AM
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FormulaNova said..


The complaints of expensive beer and food over the last few years are probably more like the fair price than any attempt to profiteer.


Fair price? Please.

When I left WA in 2000 to live in Europe a pint in a pub cost $5, a carton of beer was $25
When I came back on hols in 2004 a pint cost $10, a carton of beer was $40
When I came back in 2007 a pint cost $13, a carton of beer was $50

How the f**k does the price of something a simple as beer more than double in 7 years?

I was in Finland last xmas... Beer in a ski resort, in Finland, at peak tourist time - was cheaper than in Perth.
FFS, a beer on the Easyjet flight, was cheaper than in Perth.
I bought 3 cartons of Stella (24*500ml cans) for same price as a single carton of beer in Perth.

This isn't due to the cost of living.... its the cost of taking the piss.

Buster fin
WA, 1725 posts
14 Jul 2018 2:06PM
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And no doubt we've all heard about how it's more expensive to buy a beer at the brewery in which it's made in Freo than on the other side of the country. Often with surly staff to pour it for you in their own time.
I'll take the over-priced carton home and drink in comfort with my mates, thanks all the same

FormulaNova
NSW, 7309 posts
14 Jul 2018 4:41PM
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rod_bunny said..

FormulaNova said..


The complaints of expensive beer and food over the last few years are probably more like the fair price than any attempt to profiteer.



Fair price? Please.

When I left WA in 2000 to live in Europe a pint in a pub cost $5, a carton of beer was $25
When I came back on hols in 2004 a pint cost $10, a carton of beer was $40
When I came back in 2007 a pint cost $13, a carton of beer was $50

How the f**k does the price of something a simple as beer more than double in 7 years?

I was in Finland last xmas... Beer in a ski resort, in Finland, at peak tourist time - was cheaper than in Perth.
FFS, a beer on the Easyjet flight, was cheaper than in Perth.
I bought 3 cartons of Stella (24*500ml cans) for same price as a single carton of beer in Perth.

This isn't due to the cost of living.... its the cost of taking the piss.



Are prices still that bad over there? FWIW, I think beer costs the same over there as it does in the eastern states. Every year that I do my trip to WA I don't notice any difference.

Then again, I am just buying from bottle shops, and not going to pubs. Are the pub prices that different? Your EasyJet comparison is probably the same against all alcohol costs in Aus, not just WA. Here in Aus, excise is how governments make good money on alcohol and cigarettes.

During the same dates you nominate, real estate when crazy in WA. More than doubling in that time, although I guess that is changing now.

Personally, I think WA saw prices 'rise' to be the same as the rest of Aus. You would sort of expect that when there is a boom on that shot up the cost of realestate and a took a large amount of the workforce away.


Rex
WA, 921 posts
14 Jul 2018 7:26PM
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rod_bunny said..

FormulaNova said..


The complaints of expensive beer and food over the last few years are probably more like the fair price than any attempt to profiteer.



Fair price? Please.

When I left WA in 2000 to live in Europe a pint in a pub cost $5, a carton of beer was $25
When I came back on hols in 2004 a pint cost $10, a carton of beer was $40
When I came back in 2007 a pint cost $13, a carton of beer was $50

How the f**k does the price of something a simple as beer more than double in 7 years?

I was in Finland last xmas... Beer in a ski resort, in Finland, at peak tourist time - was cheaper than in Perth.
FFS, a beer on the Easyjet flight, was cheaper than in Perth.
I bought 3 cartons of Stella (24*500ml cans) for same price as a single carton of beer in Perth.

This isn't due to the cost of living.... its the cost of taking the piss.



The mining boom, rents were off the planet, it had to play its part.

Rex
WA, 921 posts
14 Jul 2018 7:26PM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
rod_bunny said..

FormulaNova said..


The complaints of expensive beer and food over the last few years are probably more like the fair price than any attempt to profiteer.



Fair price? Please.

When I left WA in 2000 to live in Europe a pint in a pub cost $5, a carton of beer was $25
When I came back on hols in 2004 a pint cost $10, a carton of beer was $40
When I came back in 2007 a pint cost $13, a carton of beer was $50

How the f**k does the price of something a simple as beer more than double in 7 years?

I was in Finland last xmas... Beer in a ski resort, in Finland, at peak tourist time - was cheaper than in Perth.
FFS, a beer on the Easyjet flight, was cheaper than in Perth.
I bought 3 cartons of Stella (24*500ml cans) for same price as a single carton of beer in Perth.

This isn't due to the cost of living.... its the cost of taking the piss.



The mining boom, rents were off the planet, it had to play its part.

Mr Milk
NSW, 1247 posts
17 Jul 2018 8:56AM
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Who says there aren't well paid careers in fast food?

www.smh.com.au/business/workplace/domino-s-pizza-boss-in-the-dough-with-36-8m-payday-20180716-p4zrtr.html

Greenroom
WA, 7431 posts
17 Jul 2018 9:29AM
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Mark _australia said..
I wonder if they do split shift in Europe?

I doubt anyone likes getting up for 0400 to do breakfast shift from 0500, home from 0900 - 1200 then waiting tables from 1200-1400 or so. Then back for 1800-2100 sometimes.


I did a split shift from 5-9am and then 6-10pm years ago as a cleaner at BC The Body Club. Was the best surf/windsurf friendly job ever! It was enough to drive my XU1 kingswood wagon around, buy a 250 Aprillia and and still live at home. But it wasn't going to be a future career.

bjw
NSW, 2581 posts
17 Jul 2018 11:47AM
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A Macca's or KFC store manager can make 100k+. But to find people who are willing to work full time in it and willing to work up the chain is almost impossible.

The casual wage rate is are $27 pH in one of those chains. Good employees will work 38h on those rates.

It's not the low pay that people think.

The whole of retail is like this. Australians look down on retail workers. They this it's not a respectable or impressive role.

evlPanda
NSW, 8484 posts
17 Jul 2018 1:45PM
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Paddles B'mere said..
...so they can become eligible (in the government's eyes) to get someone from offshore on a 457 visa (or whatever it's called now)



"Would you like something to drink?"
"Er, no. I'll just have a water."
"Sorry? A..."
"Just a water."
"..."
"Wa-ter."
"White Tea?"

- an actual conversation I had in a sushi train.

FormulaNova
NSW, 7309 posts
17 Jul 2018 4:52PM
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evlPanda said..

Paddles B'mere said..
...so they can become eligible (in the government's eyes) to get someone from offshore on a 457 visa (or whatever it's called now)




"Would you like something to drink?"
"Er, no. I'll just have a water."
"Sorry? A..."
"Just a water."
"..."
"Wa-ter."
"White Tea?"

- an actual conversation I had in a sushi train.


I wonder if these are 457 workers or people on student visas?

I think Sydney runs on student visas. Despite the 20 hour maximum, I am sure there are thousands of students keeping coffee shops and food places going all over the place.



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Forums > General Discussion   Shooting the breeze...


"Why are there no career hospitality workers?" started by FormulaNova