The skills pass office has confirmed that there are no backlogs in bookings for the interview section for skills pass applications, despite concerns from the hospitality industry.

The skills pass measure is a set of new rules designed to ensure foreign workers in Malta’s hospitality and tourism sectors have the necessary skills to provide a quality service. Last month, it came into effect for workers who are getting a work permit for the first time. From the start of 2025, those currently in Malta will need to obtain the skills pass upon renewal of their work permit.

The programme is split into two phases. The initial phase includes a mandatory online course covering English language proficiency, customer care, general hospitality practices, and knowledge of Malta’s tourist offerings.

Once this is completed, applicants will need to book for an online verification interview, mandatory for employment in hotels, bars, restaurants, kitchens, housekeeping, and front office roles.

Over the past few days, several employers reached out to this newsroom expressing concerns that their new recruits are yet to receive an appointment for the online interview.

In response to this, this newsroom contacted the office tasked with handling the skills pass registrations, asking for further clarification and whether the booking system is available.

A representative from the office said that bookings for interviews were opened on 10th June, three weeks after the certificate for the first phase of the process could be issued, “as pre-established and previously communicated with the industry.”

“The skills pass portal booking system is up and running, and candidates can book accordingly once they receive their phase one certificate, which is being issued weekly,” they continued.

The representative clarified that there are “no backlogs,” as candidates can log in to the skills pass portal and proceed with the bookings accordingly, “as has been planned all along.”

“The first successful applicant from phase one booked for an interview on 25th June, with them set to be the first candidate to conclude both phases of the skills pass,” they added.

They stated that other candidates have booked for interview dates from 25th June onwards “without any issues.”

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