A project led by the Institute of Tourism Studies (ITS) in collaboration with Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA), TCTC, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences of Finland and Institute Paul Bocuse of France; aims at upskilling low-skilled personnel working in the tourism and hospitality industry. The Erasmus co-funded, Guest Experience Project, was launched in September 2018 and will be coming to an end in 2021.
The main objectives of the project are to upskill and enhance the knowledge of those individuals already employed in the tourism and hospitality industry, as well as to encourage individuals who have never worked in the industry to enrol in such courses to kick-start their career in this sector. As part of the project, several courses where offered, including Basic ICT skills; maintenance of a safe, hygienic and secure working environment; cleaning and servicing a range of housekeeping areas; and resolving customer services problems and providing information to customers. Participants were also given the opportunity to embark on a work placement to get a hands-on experience.
A total of 289 persons participated in the project and received certification for the course they participated in. A presentation of certificates ceremony was held at the ITS campus in Luqa, with representatives from TCTC and MHRA present together with Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds, Hon. Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi and Minister for Tourism and Consumer Protection, Hon. Clayton Bartolo.
More courses will be offered in the coming weeks, which will further on increase the number of personnel who benefit from these upskilling courses.
ITS Chairman, Mr Carlo Micallef opened the ceremony by saying that during the closure of the industry due to the pandemic, the opportunity was seized to invest strongly in Malta’s and Gozo’s strongest asset, our people, the island’s front-liners who play a key role in delivering the promise of a memorable holiday experience in Malta & Gozo.
Speaking with Ray Abela, Principal of TCTC Malta and who had created The Guest Experience concept in March of 2019 said, “The Guest Experience showed me the alternatives that we as educators can use to make our training more accessible to all. This has given us an edge towards the promotion of lifelong learning and into the upskilling of various workers in the industry. Training and education is key in the success of our economy and the various industries.”
MHRA Manager, Mr Tonio Cini welcome these courses and welcomed more of such courses in the future, to further on increase the level of personnel within the hospitality and tourism industry.
The Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi highlighted that investing in our workforce is a prerogative of this Government and the main objective of such projects is the creation of opportunities that will offer the possibility to many workers to improve their status and at the same time contribute to building a strong and sustainable economy.
“The Guest Experience Project is another opportunity to sustain our commitment by providing the necessary tools to establish better human resources within our industry. The Institute of Tourism Studies needs to be a proactive and innovative education body that pushes the industry to excel and go forward. The Government together with ITS shall continue advocating quality and efficiency as two principles that shall be the mandatory norm in the Maltese tourism itinerary,” outlined Minister for Tourism and Consumer Protection Clayton Bartolo.