The Institute of Tourism Studies (ITS) and the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) have started a collaboration from which both the students and the industry will reap benefits. The collaboration was effectively launched yesterday at an event held at the Ministry For Tourism and address by Tourism Minister Dr Edward Zammit Lewis, MHRA President Tony Zahra and ITS Executive Director Pierre Fenech.
Through this collaboration, ITS Students will benefit from sponsorships by the local tourism and hospitality businesses, helping them from the very start of their studies to get essential hands-on experience in their chosen fields. At the same time, this same process will also ensure that tourism and hospitality industry has a choice of knowledgeable, experienced and well-trained professionals, who will themselves become the industry leaders in the future.
The collaboration between ITS and MHRA has been planned such that already from the enrollment process, which will be held via an interview with the sponsoring businesses, through to the whole duration of the sponsorship, students embark on a learning journey hand in hand with the local industry and develop skills that meet industry's current and future demands directly.
At the signing event. Photo: DOI
The sponsorships, in fact, comprise more than a simple process of placements within the industry. Students will benefit not only from a sponsorship over and above their stipends but also from the possibility of working part-time with their sponsor while they further their studies. Moreover, ITS students sponsored by the participating businesses will also have peace of mind that comes from knowing that they have a job awaiting them immediately upon graduating from their Higher National Diploma.
Minister Edward Zammit Lewis said that, "this partnership is a guarantee that ITS will evolve in line with the industry's evolution, while at the same time it will support the industry as a professional institution that the industry can turn to for research and training in this sector."
The benefits from this collaboration between ITS and MHRA extend also to the participating business who will now have the opportunity to shape the future of their industry by ensuring that their future employees graduate from school having already learnt the skills they need and the ropes of the particular roles they will be in. There is also a financial benefit for participating businesses, who through their investment in ITS students will enjoy a professional and experienced workforce that does not require extensive training from scratch, resulting thus in lower long-term training costs.
The collaboration between MHRA and ITS will ultimately ensure that more students become professionals in the tourism and hospitality sectors, thus addressing the short supply of talent that business face year in year out in their operations. This initiative offers also a better insight to students into what the tourism can offer them u helps students choose a career that is essential to the country.