Third-country nationals wanting jobs in tourism and catering will require skills card from 2024

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 October, 2023 at 2:34 pm by Andre Camilleri

All new third-country nationals (TCNs) seeking to relocate to Malta to be employed in the tourism and catering industries will be required to sit for a number of courses before coming over as from 2024, the government announced Thursday. 

By 2025, all tourism and hospitality workers will require a skills card to work in the industry, ITS CEO Pierre Fenech said.

The prospective employees will be required to follow courses which tackle English proficiency, basic customer care, and knowledge on the Maltese tourism product. These will be conducted by the Institute for Tourism Studies (ITS).

Fenech said that the industry requires quality workers, and a skills card is the first step in a long journey to ensure that this is achieved. Since staff turnover in the industry is significantly higher than that in other sectors, this has resulted in large volumes of untrained workers.

As from 2024, when an employer in the industry seeks to employ TCNs, the potential employees have to complete the online courses and, once this process is ready, the applicants can progress with their work permit registration with Identità. 

If a work permit is granted, the applicant must schedule an appointment with ITS three weeks prior to arrival in Malta, in order to sit for in-person assessments. The assessments are to be held in three days from the date of arrival.

If an applicant fails their in-person assessment, ITS is to inform Identità for the TCN to be expatriated. If the exam is passed, Identità confirms the applicant’s work permit. 

The employers in question must then be registered by the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA), which finally issues the skills cards. 

By October 2024, all employees seeking renewal for their work permit will also be required to sit for the courses, and by January 2025, this extends to Maltese and EU citizens.

Identità CEO Mark Mallia stated that the agency will work closely with ITS in order to verify an applicant’s skills.

Home affairs minister, Byron Camilleri said the government will be carefully monitoring the effects of the changes in order to implement similar requisites in other industries.

Tourism minister Clayton Bartolo said the government has already consulted with the relevant stakeholders who responded positively to the proposed changes. 

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