staff wanted

Catering industry stakeholders are hoping for a frank discussion and practical solutions to the problems they are facing with recruitment during a conference to be held on Thursday morning, with ministers, experts, entrepreneurs and other stakeholder representatives.

The Association of Catering Establishments (ACE) is organising a conference on human resources in the food and beverage service sector, where leading economist Gordon Cordina, in his capacity as a consultant through his E-Cubed consultancy, will be presenting the results of a study on the industry, followed up by panel discussions on the way forward.

ACE’s 2021 conference will be held tomorrow Thursday 4th November with a hybrid setup, with guests and speakers present at the Chamber of Commerce’s premises in Valletta while participants can follow online. will be facilitating the panel discussions, which will see industry bigwigs and ministers react frankly to the situation on the ground and explore future potential.

The conference aims to bring stakeholders together to reflect on the current state of the industry and discuss solutions to the severe shortage of workers that is afflicting establishments across the board.

Over the last months, employers in all industries have reported a lack of staff, with those in hospitality among the worst hit.

Restaurants have been forced to adapt, with some cutting down on their days of operation and others reducing their opening hours in order to give staff a rest.

ACE has invited Minister for Tourism Clayton Bartolo and Minister for Employment Clyde Caruana to come to the table to see how they can go beyond both the measures outlined in the Tourism Strategy for 2021-2030 and those introduced in the Budget for 2022 so that solutions are found in the short term.

“The focus is on what can be done today, not tomorrow,” said ACE CEO Omar Vella. “Finding staff has become an impossible challenge for operators in the sector, and if we do not address the issue now, we can expect serious problems that will undermine the achievement of the goals outlined in the National Tourism Strategy.”

Other speakers during the event will include The Malta Chamber CEO Marthese Portelli and General Workers Union secretary general Josef Bugeja, who will be looking at opposite sides of the coin in a bid to find the balance required for the sector to continue growing sustainably.

Restaurateurs will also be participating, with Matthew Pace, owner of Uncle Matt’s Kitchen and secretary general of ACE, putting forward his view on Government interventions that provide stability to the sector.

“We need a strategy for today,” says Mr Pace. “It is no exaggeration to say that the situation is a nightmare – and it will only change through planned intervention – fast!”

Registrations are still open. Reserve your spot by sending an email to Booking costs €50.

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