09 November 2005

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Business Today

MHRA lands second Leonardo mobility programme funding

The Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association in Collaboration with the Malta Tourism Authority, has landed a second Leonardo Mobility programme to the benefit of its hotel and restaurant members.
As the first programme for 10 hotel and restaurant executives gets under way in Ireland at the end of this month, the MHRA has announced that it has secured a second EU Leonardo da Vinci funding for the overseas training of 20 executives from Maltese hotels and restaurants.
The programme will give participants the opportunity to experience operational practices overseas and participate in field talks and activities to enhance and develop their skills towards quality tourism. This mobility programme will be open to all categories of hotels and restaurants, and MHRA members are being requested to advise the Association in writing of their interest in nominating staff for this programme.
Participants will be divided into two groups of ten each and go for training in February and November 2006 respectively. MHRA and the MTA are co-operating in this field as it is felt that training plays a crucial role in the improvement of service delivery in an industry where an individual can make or break the success of an establishment in the eyes of the client.
Meanwhile, participants in the first Leonardo da Vinci Mobility Programme have been briefed about the training programme they are undergoing in Ireland between the 28 November and 3 December 2005. The briefing session, held at the MHRA offices, was addressed by Ivan C. Borg, an MHRA Council member who coordinated the work to secure this programme and get it organised.
Borg said that this project was tailor made for line managers who have not had the opportunity of having vocational training. They will be able to hear professionals in the industry talk on the various aspects that go into hotel management and see them at work during field visits. The idea is to exchange views and on their return home to disseminate the knowledge they would have gathered with their colleagues at work, and adapt it to their local situation.
He unfolded the intense programme of work to be undertaken in Ireland, highlighting the topics that will be covered, including cost management, yield management, business excellence, quality service, food and beverage operations, sales, marketing and HR.
He said that this programme was being organised with the cooperation of the European Union Programmes Unit and the MTA as well as that of the Failte Ireland, the Irish Tourism Authority.
The participants were also given a briefing on the Leonardo Mobility programme by Joseph Lynn-Micallef who holds the position of Projects Officer (Mobility Action) of the Leonardo da Vinci National Agency. He said that this project fulfilled the basic requirements of such mobility projects in that it had sound financial management and the prospects of a good multiplier effect through the dissemination of information.
Lynn-Micallef said that such projects provided financial assistance to entities which wanted to send their employees for training overseas, and promoted employability and adaptability. The intentions of this programme are to improve and update skills, share knowledge and experience, create contacts, promote continuous training, and diffuse knowledge.
MTA’s Head of Unit, Human Resources and Support Services Directorate, Joseph Tanti also addressed the participants and said that they would be benefiting from a customized programme, during which they will be able to obtain information and exchange views with professionals and see them at work.
He encouraged the participants to take the maximum advantage from this visit and to disseminate the knowledge they obtain among their colleagues. The MTA believes in programmes such as Leonardo and promotes them. In this, said Tanti, the MTA works very closely with the MHRA in the best interests of the local industry and tourism in general.
The briefing was attended by Albert Fenech - Ambassador Hotel; Emanuel Farrugia - Bugibba Holiday Complex; Ray Borg - Ghonella Restaurant; Stephania Pirotta - Hotel Kennedy Nova; Patrick Vassallo - Il-Merill Aparthotel; Keith Pace - Sunflower Hotel; Thomas Rieger – Sprachecaffe; and Kevin Callus - The Victoria Hotel.

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