During the launch of the public consultation on the Proficiency Acknowledgement in Tourism and Hospitality Initiative (PATH), Minister for Tourism Dr Edward Zammit Lewis explained the significant positive impact that this initiative is expected to make on the workforce within the tourism industry.
“It is with pride that we look back on yet another remarkable year for the tourism industry. However we are also fully aware of the volatile nature of tourism,’’ noted Minister Zammit Lewis.
He stated that in order to sustain Malta’s extraordinary success story in tourism, we need to continue enhancing quality along the entire tourism value chain. Minister Zammit Lewis explained that a critical factor to success in tourism is the people whose job it is to deliver the range of services associated with this industry. “Tourism depends, perhaps more than any other industry, on the quality of the delivery of service and the personal interaction between the provider and the client, patron or guest,” affirmed the Minister for Tourism.
He emphasized that having employees who are adequately skilled and trained, satisfied with their job and working conditions, will go a long way towards strengthening the tourism industry’s value chain. Tourism is an equal opportunity employer and provides ample opportunities for part-time work. But on the other hand, it is also true that many of those working in the sector face low income levels, an unfavourable work-life balance, limited career opportunities, and there is also significant use of over-qualified workers ready to switch sector at the first opportunity.
Minister Zammit Lewis stated that Malta’s tourism competitiveness can only be sustained if growth is accompanied by the development of all our human resources. “We have been engaging all employment-related stakeholders to secure their commitment towards measures designed to enhance the working conditions and the professional quality of those working in tourism,” said the Minister for Tourism, adding that particular emphasis is being delivered to career development, entry qualifications and continuous personal development.
“Therefore I am pleased to announce that further to the implementation of legislation in connection with the Validation of Informal and Non-formal Learning by the Ministry for Education and Employment, my Ministry will be leveraging this initiative to support workers within the hospitality and tourism sector,” said the Minister for Tourism.
The Minister explained that the Validation of Informal and Non-Formal Learning refers to the process of assessing and formally recognising acquired knowledge, skills and competences, which individuals develop throughout their lives and within different environments. The validation process thus also formally recognises learning taking place outside formal education.
Dr Zammit Lewis noted that this is another initiative which is perfectly aligned with the industry human resources strategy that the Government has been implementing over the past few years, designed to ensure that our workforce within the tourism industry can consider their employment as a career, and not simply a job like any other; and to approach such a career with the confidence provided through academic and practical training, and formal qualifications.
“The success in the tourism industry and its affiliated sectors, and the positive outcome of our policies, are the result of an effective collaborative synergy between all tourism stakeholders. This synergy continues to be a strong characteristic of our industry, and further boosts our resolve to pursue our strategic objectives with greater intensity and confidence in the years to come,” concluded the Minister for Tourism Dr Edward Zammit Lewis.