The South West Development Commission is encouraging businesses across the South West to join a survey aimed to combat regional worker shortages. SWDC chief executive Mellisa Teede said the survey would determine whether a pool of teenage workers might fill the gaps left by a widespread shortfall of casual hospitality workers. The dire situation was affecting other sectors reliant on overseas workers, including working holidaymakers locked out by Australia’s national border closure. “Through a youth hospitality casual pool campaign, we plan on targeting school students aged 15 to 17 in the Busselton, Dunsborough and Margaret River areas to fill summer vacancies,” Ms Teede told the Times. “To help us investigate solutions that address critical labour shortages, we are currently surveying as many local hospitality businesses as possible. “We want to gauge how many extra workers will be needed to support the industry during the upcoming peak holiday season.” The Margaret River Chamber of Commerce urged members to complete the three-minute survey. “Your feedback will help develop a fast-tracked training program and attract young people into casual hospitality jobs, in time for the upcoming peak tourist season,” president Melissa Rose said. Australian Regional Tourism chair Coralie Bell warned the regional industry was near breaking point. Surveymonkey.com/r/MRCCI is the site to visit.