Minutes of The Yes Project Launch Conference – Malta
held at the Corinthia Marina Hotel – St. George’s Bay, St. Julian’s
on Friday, 30th April, 2010.
1. Mr. Ray Vassallo – Project Co-ordinator (ITS – Malta), made an opening introductory speech. A snapshot review was given about the outcome of yesterday’s first steering committee’s meeting. It was noted that this is the 39th EU Funded project for ITS and the first one for this Institute as Project Leader.
Mr. Vassallo thanked both Messrs. Reginald Abela, outgoing ITS Chairman,
Joseph Bonello, Head of Administration, and all participants of this project for their invaluable support and assistance.
2. Ms. Claire Zammit Xuereb – Chairman of the Board of Governors, Institute of Tourism Studies, Malta – made her first appearance in the role of her new appointment as Chairman. She thanked both Mr. Reginald Abela - outgoing Chairman, and Mr. Joseph Bonello for their support and reiterated that she looked forward to work with everybody for the amelioration of ITS’ future.
Ms. Xuereb explained about the importance of the YES project which is a continuation of another valuable project – The New Hospitality Project, and expressed her sense of pride about ITS’ leading participation in this project.
The Chairman pointed out Malta’s strengths which contribute to its potential for success in the Tourism and hospitality sector and remarked how the traditional tourism aspect is being gradually taken over by the niche markets trend.
Ms. Xuereb explained how the combination of ECVET, Malta Qualifications Recognition Information Centre (MQRIC), the mobility of human resources and the eventual success of this YES project, all make an important contribution in this rapidly evolving sector.
An overview was given about ITS’ evolution with regard to the opening of various specialized centers, its breakthrough in E-learning, the various projects in which ITS has participated and how all these enhanced the learning methods and standards at the Institute.
Lastly, Ms. Xuereb augured well for this YES project and its benefits for both for ITS students and the hospitality industry in general.
3. The Hon. Dolores Cristina – Minister of Education, Employment and The Family –
introduced both herself and the Hon. Ms. M. Louise Coleiro Preca (Labour Party Spokesperson for Tourism).
The Minister thanked Mr. Reginald Abela, the outgoing ITS Chairman for his positive contribution towards the running of ITS. The Minister welcomed the new ITS Chairperson and commended her for her vision for this Institute.
The Minister greeted foreign participants in their respective languages and continued her speech in Maltese.
Minister Cristina remarked that she feels impressed upon receiving positive feedback from the industry about ITS students. She explained about the widespread impact that the tourism sector leaves on the Maltese economy and for this reason it needs to be handled with sensitivity and to take heed when there is constructive criticism
The Minister praised the scope of this project which brought professionals in the sector/employers/education sector working together and its importance to the industry in general as a positive message embedded in the analogy its YES name implies.
Minister. Cristina assured everyone that such projects are always monitored at ministry level.
The Minister finally made her departing greeting in Maltese.
4. Dott. Sara Ricci – Project Partner- ARTES srl (Italy) – made a presentation in the Italian language about the YES Project. Dott. Ricci explained in detail about the scope and targets of the YES project and about how this is a continuation of the previous Leonardo da Vinci Project – NEW Hospitality. Dott. Ricci also touched about; the first meeting of the steering committee held on the previous day, ITS’ centre of excellence in the E learning platform, agreement among the participant partners about the mainstreaming of the on-line database.
Lastly, Dott. Ricci thanked all guests who attended this conference and ITS for the great level of support in this regard.
5. Dr. James Calleja CEO – Malta Qualifications Council (MQC) – started his presentation by explaining the role and framework of MQC and how the constant point of reference has always been the Lisbon Strategy. This was followed by a presentation about the desired impact of the Malta Qualifications Council on the value of VET qualifications.
Dr. Calleja pointed out the first protocol of MQC has been signed with ITS with regard to the certificate supplement. This was done by MQC on the insistence of the out going ITS Chairman. Dr. Calleja remarked that MQC will be embarking on a pilot project with ITS about VQPACK – making VET visible in EC.
Laslty, Dr. Calleja thanked Mr. Reginald Abela for all the good work that has been done during his tenure and augured well for the new ITS Chairperson.
6. Prof. Emanuela Schiaffella – Project Partner – Centre for Advanced Studies in Tourism (Italy)- started by giving an overview about CST – Assisi.
Prof. Schiaffella made her detailed presentation in the Italian language about
the Network Project and ECVET.
Prof. Schiaffella explained how out of 11 proposed projects that have been submitted in this specialization, only 2 have been chosen and these happened to be both Italians.
Prof. Schiaffella lastly thanked ITS for its continuous assistance.
7. Mr. Mauro Pace Parascandalo – Director – European Union Programmes Agency (EUPA) – gave an overview about The Lifelong Learning Programme
and thanked ITS and MHRA for their regular participation in EUPA projects.
Mr. Pace Parascandalo explained how the YES Project is the biggest project that
EUPA is funding for this year.
Mr. Pace Parascandolo wished to ITS, MHRA and the other foreign participants
success in this project as well.
8. Mr. George Schembri – Project Partner – CEO – Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) – started his presentation by thanking Mr. Reginald Abela for all the support that the outgoing ITS Chairman has given to him as CEO – MHRA.
Mr. Schembri pointed out that he has always tried to keep constant contact with ITS both as CEO at MHRA and during his 30 year long career in the hospitality industry.
Mr. Schembri then followed by giving an overview about the history and role of MHRA.
CEO mentioned MHRA’s participation in other projects to the benefit of the hospitality industry and complimented the Italian participants for their success in their previous project.
9. Ms. Wilma Plaehn –YEP Co-ordinator – Employment and Training Corporation(ETC)
made her presentation about Youth Employment in Malta.
Ms. Plaehn explained about the role, services and modus operandi of the Youth Employment Programme (YEP) towards unemployed youths between the age of 17 and 24 years of age.
Ms. Plaehn presented a package with relative information about YEP and about the Work Trial Scheme together with other relative flyers material to all attending guests.
10. Mr. Pedro Belo – Project Partner – INESP/SOFATI -Portugal – made a presentation about the set up/role and services offered by this consulting and training organization in the Portuguese hospitality industry/sector.
11. Ms. Monika Partasidou – Project Partner – Technical School of Larnaca (TSL) – Cyprus
started her presentation by giving out general information about Larnaca, which is Cyprus’s oldest living city and about Cyprus itself. Ms. Partasidou proceeded to explain about the function of this technical institute which incorporates 4 departments, namely, electrical, carpeting, fashion design and hotel/catering. Recently this Technical School has shifted to a new state-of-the-art building.
Lastly, Ms. Partasidou thanked ITS and everyone involved for the level of hospitality offered in Malta.
12. Mrs. Maria da Luz Pinto Basto – Project Partner – Association of Hotel Directors
of Portugal (ADHP) – made her presentation by starting with an account of the history and role of this association of Directors of Hotels in Portugal.
Apart from defending the interests of its members and the hotel industry, it provides also continuous training to its members by means of various partnerships and promotes the Graduate Course in Directorate Hotel which is a pre requisite for Directors of Hotels working in Portugal.
Mrs Maria da Luz Pinto Basto ended her presentation by viewing a short video about Portugal to attending guests/participants.
13. Ms. Egli Hadjipaschali – Project Partner – Cyprus Chefs Association (CCA) -
made a presentation about the origin and role of this highly influential Cypriot organization in the field of the catering industry. This Chefs’ Association has worldwide
contacts and provide also students with locating different places of work or colleges from where they would be able to build their careers.
Mr. Ray Vassallo concluded the conference by thanking all guests/participants attending this event and invited those present for lunch at the Pembroke Suite – ITS.