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Title: Human resource development in the Maltese tourism sector : is tourism education leading to a good quality workforce in the Maltese tourism industry?
Authors: Mifsud, Clare
Keywords: Gross domestic product -- Malta
Employees -- Training of -- Malta
Labor market -- Economic aspects -- Malta
Issue Date: 2013
Abstract: The tourism industry is an important contributor to Malta's overall GDP. The industry is very labour intensive and the quality of the service depends significantly on the employees' abilities and attitude in the performance of their duties. The combination of different services from different operators all contribute to the overall tourist experience. The industry is still characterised by the large number of casual labour employed over the summer months to cope with the seasonality of the business. The majority of this casual labour is unskilled. However, most operators in the various sectors of this industry also employ a core number of employees on a permanent basis. Over the years the University of Malta and the Institute of Tourism Studies have played a crucial role in providing courses tailored for the needs of the industry and the number of graduates from both institutions has been increasing. Yet, there is still a high rate of employee turnover not just amongst the unskilled employees but also the skilled employees in this industry. There are several graduates from both institutions, who leave the industry after a couple of years or, even worse, chose not to join the industry once they finish their studies. Thus, this study looks at whether the employers in various sectors of the tourism industry feel that they are finding enough skilled employees to fulfil their needs. And also whether the graduates they employ have the right skills and the right perception of what the various roles in the industry involve. This study also gets the point of view of the students as to why they opted for a tourism qualification, how they went about choosing where to get this qualification from and also whether they felt that their course provided them with the right expectations of what they were to face in the working environment. Throughout, the various interviews with employers and graduates carried out in this study, it became very clear how important internships are. If conducted properly students gain an invaluable experience and are better prepared when they join the industry in a full time job. But they also bring the industry and the educational field closer together for the benefit of both. International internships also develop the student's cultural sensitivity and this is extremely important in tourism. The quality of tourism courses has improved over the years and they have become more popular. However, most tourism employers agree that we still need more high quality graduates. More needs to be done to ensure that both ITS and University set the right expectations of what this industry involves in order to avoid dissatisfied graduates. The interviews with both employers and graduates also showed that those students who pick a tourism course for the right reason, i.e. a genuine interest in a particular sector in the tourism sector, and are willing to work their way up, have an interesting career ahead of them and this augurs well for the future of the tourism industry.
Description: M.A.TOURISM
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - InsTTC - 2013

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