Basic Maltese phrases and personal grooming are just two of the topics that will be covered in a course preparing workers for the tourism industry, the Tourism Ministry has said. 

Last week, the government announced that from next year, non-EU workers in hotels, bars and restaurants will need to obtain a skills card costing €575 to work in the sector.

The requirement will be extended to include Maltese citizens and EU nationals in 2025. A ministry spokesperson told Times of Malta that the training and assessment programme for the card will take place in two stages. 

The first will include an English test – including ‘basic hospitality English’ – housekeeping and workplace-specific assessments, and a ‘basic Maltese tourism product’ test, among others.  

Candidates will need to learn the histories of both the country and its tourism sector and about Maltese tourist attractions, cultural activities and traditions, and the public transport system. They will also need to master basic Maltese phrases. 

"The course will be in line with the National Occupation Standards issued by the Malta Further and Higher Education Authority"

They will be taught how to greet guests, take orders and reservations, answer telephone calls and give recommendations.

Customer service practices, including how to provide services “discreetly” and personal grooming, will also be taught in the first stage of the course, the spokesperson said. 

At the second stage, candidates will have to pass in-person English language and practical skills assessments tailored to the applicant’s chosen job. 

The course will be written by professionals employed by the Institute of Tourism Studies (ITS) Training School in cooperation with the public consultation that will run until mid-November. 

The course will be in line with the National Occupation Standards issued by the Malta Further and Higher Education Authority, the spokesperson added. 

Third-country nationals will from January need to pass the assessment before their visa and work permit applications for the tourism sector can be processed. As from October next year, the pass requirement will also apply to non-EU nationals. 

The requirement will be “gradually extended” to cover work permit renewals, the spokesperson said.

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