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Hear from the experts

Employment and economic outlook 2021

Hear from our industry experts

Stefan Strano, CEO of Club Plus Super, knows it’s been a tough year for everyone.

The volatility of the economy, due to Covid-19, has created uncertainty for members around jobs, superannuation, and financial wellbeing. Many members have contacted us with concerns about the impact the global pandemic could have on their super and on their employment prospects, now and in the future. Their concerns are perfectly understandable”.

That’s why he’s asked some industry experts to share their respective outlooks on:

  1. The economy and what comes next
  2. The hospitality industry and where the opportunities are likely to be
  3. Employment prospects in the club industry.

The economy and what comes next

Economic update

The global COVID pandemic has resulted in Australia’s first recession in almost 30 years, leading to a significant increase in unemployment. 

The initial hard decline in the economy into mid-April was followed by a strong bounce into July but this was dampened by harsh lockdown restrictions in Victoria. 

Despite these promising signs of recovery, some sectors of our economy are still really struggling. The jobs of many members and their families have been impacted.

The good news is that the government is intensely focused on supporting a strong and sustained economic recovery for Australia and driving down the unemployment rate as quickly as possible,” says Chief Investment Officer, Gemma Dooley.

To stimulate economic activity and job growth, they have committed to invest an additional $14 billion in new and accelerated infrastructure projects across the country over the next four years and have pledged $74 billion to the new JobMaker scheme which will create jobs across many industries.

Club Plus Super draws on some of the world’s best investment managers to help navigate the uncertainties of investment markets and to manage members’ money.   

One of those investment managers, BlackRock, is one of the largest investment managers in the world, managing over $10 trillion in assets on behalf of investors worldwide.

Blackrock Portfolio Manager Craig Vardy acknowledges the serious impact the pandemic has had on the Australian economy, as well as the outlook for growth and job creation:

The economy has come to a hard stop and is now in recession with rising unemployment. Fortunately, the reserve bank has stepped in and slashed interest rates considerably to help support businesses and lowered borrowing costs, for mortgages in particular. Also, the federal government and state governments have stepped in to provide stimulus in the form of payments for job seekers and employers to retain staff.

Vardy says that if the coronavirus persists for an extended time, with rolling lockdowns and border closures, there could be permanent job losses in some industries:

The main concerns at the moment for the Australian economy are that there will be some residual fallout from coronavirus – what they call ‘scarring’. What does that mean? This means some jobs will simply disappear from certain pockets of the economy.”

But on the positive side of things, Vardy says the pandemic has brought about renewed debate around economic debt and government spending.

This is a great time for governments to reset the clock for the next 20 to 30 years on what they want the Australian economy to look like. Now’s the time to invest in infrastructure which will lift productivity, grow the economic pie and create employment.”

The hospitality industry and where the opportunities are likely to be

Jeff Williams, Barcats

Jeff Williams is CEO and founder of Barcats a digital platform created three years ago to connect job seekers with the hospitality industry, one job at a time:

COVID hasn’t affected our business. In February, there were about a million hospitality workers operating. But since the pandemic, around 25%, or 115,000, of skilled labour who were chefs, managers, baristas, bartenders have all returned back to their home countries, in Italy, the UK, Germany, and so on. We have also lost 147,000 backpackers who were working in hospitality roles.*

This means there are significant opportunities for people looking for work, according to Williams:

Now, luckily enough, we have hundreds of opportunities every week coming through the doors with our 21,000 venues looking for workers across Australia.”

Apart from putting people in touch with venues, Barcats also provides training through their digital platform for people who want to acquire, or hone, their skills in hospitality.

So, whether you just want to touch up your barista skills or become a future leader, we’ve got great leadership skills available. We’ve also got fantastic opportunities on how to improve your cocktail making, your bartendering experience, or simply how to carry three plates. We’ve also got some fantastic links for staff across Australia to ensure that they can keep improving their skills and be ready for the next opportunity.

Employment prospects in the club industry

ClubsNSW update

ClubsNSW CEO Josh Landis explains that ClubsNSW helped to create Club Plus Super together with the union**. He’s also very proud of how Club Plus Super has grown over the years but recognises the difficulty members are facing this year.

It’s been a challenging time for all of us. It’s meant that some club staff were stood down. It’s also meant that people haven’t come back in the way that they used to because they’ve got anxiety and that’s put pressure on the revenue of clubs.

But Landis is confident that the way ahead is positive:

Hopefully we can get through the crisis. There is a vaccine and people will get back to normal and that means that jobs will be recreated. But the real issue here is what our clubs look like as we come out of coronavirus, what do we do to change our businesses and to remain relevant to people, off the back of the virus.”

There are so many opportunities for clubs to continue being relevant to their communities, to continue employing, to continue showing, benefits back to charities and sporting groups.”

A club industry that’s growing is great for everybody”, Josh Landis, CEO, ClubsNSW.

Key take outs

So, what can members take away from our partners? It’s that there are some growth opportunities in the economy, for jobs and for the club industry. 

And the message from Club Plus Super CEO, Stefan Strano, is that there are three things members can do today to help them get the most out of their super tomorrow:

  1. If you’re looking for new employment opportunities or hospitality training visit Barcats.
  2. There are things you can do today to change your tomorrow.
  3. Most important of all, if you change jobs you can easily take Club Plus Super with you, no matter the job, no matter the industry.

Contact our team if you need support or help with your super.

As the ‘new normal’ takes shape for all of us, it’s good to know some things stay the same. Members can be assured that Club Plus Super will continue to do our best to protect and grow your super through these challenging times.


*These statistics were based on estimates undertaken by Barcats’ research and discussions with Senator Christine Kennealy, The Australian Hotels Association and ClubsNSW in June 2020.

**Now named United Workers Union.

All information was correct at the time of filming: 22 October, 2020.

Issued by Club Plus Superannuation Pty Limited ABN 26 003 217 990, AFSL 245362, the Trustee of the Club Plus Superannuation Scheme ABN 95 275 115 088. This is an example only and does not consider your personal circumstances. The outcome is not guaranteed. This is general advice only and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Prior to acting on any information in this document you should read the appropriate Product Disclosure Statement for any product you are considering, (available at clubplussuper.com.au or by calling 1800 680 627) and seek independent financial advice around this if you are unsure. Employment and economic data sourced from Federal Budget 2020-21: https://budget.gov.au/2020-21/content/download/glossy_jobmaker.pdf