Minister for Tourism Edward Zammit Lewis and Minister for Competitiveness and Digital, Maritime and Services Economy Emmanuel Mallia presided over the signing of agreement between the Institute of Tourism Studies (ITS) and the Online & Live Casino Academy (OLCA).
Minister Zammit Lewis said that a critical success factor in tourism is our workforce that delivers a range of products and services associated with this industry. “Because of its focus on hospitality, tourism depends perhaps more than any other industry or sector, on the quality of the delivery of service and the personal interaction between the service provider and the client, patron, or guest”.
This puts an added onus on each individual working in the tourism sector because he or she is effectively acting as an ambassador for our country. This is exactly why ensuring that the workforce is adequately qualified, trained, and satisfied with the working conditions will go a long way in strengthening the tourism industry’s value chain. The growth of the gaming and tourism industries is founded on Malta’s reputation as a world leader in the gaming legislation and regulation, while the gaming industry has established itself as one of the islands’ leading economic sector, explained Minister Zammit Lewis.
“The primary function of the Institute of Tourism Studies is to ensure that our tourism industry can benefit from the contribution of a workforce that is qualified and well-trained to carry out all related jobs. In carrying out its mission, among others, the ITS monitors market trends and ensures that its range of courses is in alignment with the market and satisfies the human resource requirements of all sub-sectors of the industry itself, including that of casino tourism”.
The Tourism Minister also explained that the Institute has sought the specialist expertise of OLCA, a locally-based croupier and live-dealer academy that provides specialist croupier training to the highest possible industry standards. The aim of this partnership is to achieve a cohort of workers with the right skills and qualifications to operate and pursue a professional career in local casinos.
The role of the Institute of Tourism Studies is to bridge the gap between the mentality of simply having a job in tourism, and the delivery of excellence in hospitality by those who believe that this sector offers them a fully-fledged career. “My vision for the Institute is to grow and develop even further both in terms of academic excellence and in the number of students who choose tourism as their career besides offering specialisation courses in different tourism sub-sectors”, said the Minister for Tourism.
Minister Zammit Lewis expressed his confidence that the agreement between the ITS and the Online & Live Casino Academy will not only enhance the range of career opportunities available locally, but will also boost the quality of the service provided to visiting gamers and tourists in general.
According to Minister Emmanuel Mallia, “Today marks another milestone in the history of the gaming sector education in Malta. Following the launch of the first iGaming introductory course together with MCAST for its students last month, today we are here to support yet another important launch of the ‘Croupier/Dealer Casino and Studio Level’ course by the Online Live Casino Academy (OLCA) in collaboration with the Institute of Tourism Studies. This course will give the opportunity to local and international candidates to commence their career within the gaming sector”.
Minister Mallia spoke of his vision that the gaming industry is nurtured to become a leading driving force in the Maltese economy, meaning that we need to look further into producing talent. He emphasised that Malta’s unemployment rate is historically at its lowest, and the demand for the gaming sector talent is higher than the supply. The Maltese Government together with respective bodies feels committed to drastically increase the level and the frequency of human resources through a supply and demand model.
Minister Mallia congratulated Online Live Casino Academy (OLCA) on managing to drive its courses into various areas within the gaming sector educational strata not just by focusing on land-based casino training, but also by focusing on the new era of casino jobs, such as that of a live dealer/croupier.
ITS CEO Pierre Fenech added that “Casinos are an important aspect of our tourism and hospitality sectors. Hence, as ITS, we felt the need to offer courses and train people for this industry. Currently, land-based and studio casinos in Malta are constantly employing qualified croupiers/dealers from croupier academies around Europe. On the other hand, ITS together with the Online & Live Casino Academy, is committed to train local students in gaining the right skills and qualification to join the casino workforce. Our aim is to contribute to Malta’s economy by offering casino training at the highest industry standards in order to create job opportunities for the locals”.