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Factsheet for measure MT-2020-19/1623 – measures in Malta

Free courses for tourism workers

Country Malta , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 08 May 2020 – 01 October 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery into a green future
– Active labour market policies (enhancing employability, training, subsidised job creation, etc.)
Author Luke Anthony Fiorini (University of Malta) and Eurofound
Measure added 22 December 2020 (updated 11 January 2021)

Background information

According to the Minister of Tourism, Julia Farrugia Portelli, the tourism industry is likely to be very different post COVID-19 and thus training is necessary upskill all individuals who wish to work in this sector.

Consequently, an online platform was developed which included hundreds of courses for workers of this sector. All courses were offered for free. Funding originated from funds which were set aside for tourism pre COVID-19.

Content of measure

The Ministry for Tourism and Consumer Protection, in collaboration with the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA), launched an e-learning training scheme for the tourism industry. The aim was to empower and educate the workforce to return stronger when the industry is no longer on hold.

It was estimated that up to 25,000 may make use of this opportunity which was not only available to employers and employees in this sector, but also to students studying tourism studies, those who wish to take up a part-time job in tourism, as well as those who are unemployed by may want to take up a new career in tourism.

All courses were financed by the MTA, were carried out remotely and were offered by over 30 service providers, including the University of Malta, the Institute of Tourism Studies, UNESCO and several English Language Schools which provided English courses. Other covered topics included management and leadership skills, personal skills, self-development, customer care, and specific industry-related skills. The scheme is a one-year project.

Interested individuals were able to apply for up to three short courses or one longer accredited course. Courses were offered on a first come first served basis.

Use of measure

It was announced that nearly €6 million had been spent on the scheme. Between 5,000 and 6,000 individuals who chose to enrol in up to three short courses completed their studies. A further 2,000 were in the process of undertaking a longer accredited course.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Applies to all workers Sector specific set of companies
Applies to all citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Unknown Unknown
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown


No specific social partner involvement was announced with regards to this measure. The Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) has been very vocal in pushing for measures that would help the sector since the beginning of COVID-19; the sector was amongst one of the hardest hit and benefitted from several other measures such as vouchers that could be used in their establishments being distributed to the population, as well as wage, rent and electricity subsidies, amongst others.

Views and reactions

The MHRA welcomed the measure, stating, "we support the initiative spearheaded by Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli to provide opportunities of upskilling and reskilling of the workforce operating across the tourism sector in order to be better prepared to meet the new challenges that our sector will be facing in the coming months. This indeed is a world-class action.”

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      I - Accommodation And Food Service Activities I55 Accommodation
      I56 Food and beverage service activities

This case is not occupation-specific.



Eurofound (2020), Free courses for tourism workers, measure MT-2020-19/1623 (measures in Malta), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.