A lack of willingness of locals to work in the catering industry, and a resulting pertinent need for further efforts to attract younger generations to the sector, was a landmark finding of a study on the trends shaping the sector, and what to expect for the future.
The study, conducted by E-Cubed Consultancy, and headed by prolific local economist Gordon Cordina, was presented at a conference organised by the Association of Catering Establishments, in partnership with BusinessNow.mt.
For months now, countries around the world have decried a serious lack of available workers in catering and hospitality, with Malta failing to escape the trend. The pandemic, which led to serious limitations on the ability to do business, has caused several foreign workers to return to their country of origin, while others are opting to pivot towards industries less vulnerable to pandemic-related shocks.
The study confirmed a lack of available talent and the threat of skilled personnel migration from tourism to other economic sectors. This reality is being felt heavily on the ground, with Dr Cordina’s study confirming the sentiment.
“We need to stop looking at the here and now, and invest in training and skill development for employees in the sector, looking at longer-term prospects,” Dr Cordina says.
It also found that it is imperative for the sector to maintain and improve standards across the industry, where emphasis should be laid on greater investment in training.