PN proposes setting up an international retail academy
The Nationalist Party will today propose the establishment of an international retail academy under the aegis of the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST).
Under the proposal, the academy would train people interested in two particular retail areas and offer certificates and qualifications. The first area would focus on the operational side of retail, including over-thecounter service providers, customer-facing individuals, etc. The second section would focus on retail management and investment, etc.
This is one of 51 proposals the PN intends announcing today, when Opposition Leader Simon Busuttil presents the Party’s new policy for retailers.
A PN source said that having proper academic and professional training will help retailers build better business models, create better business plans, understand digital marketing, understand consumer behaviour, etc. The retail sector, the source continued, was indicating the need for professional people committed to the industry, rather than those who just work in the sector as a stop-gap measure.
The reason why the PN would not create the academy as a separate entity but rather have it fall under the aegis of MCAST, is because MCAST provides the right institutional framework for the development of these vertical industries, the PN source explained.
He added that, in terms of structure, this would also be more efficient as there would be no need to duplicate the top management structure.
The PN foresees two types of students attending such an academy: new students interested in going into retail work and those already in the business. “It would also attract foreigners to come to Malta and study, like the University of Malta and the ITS,” the source added.
The PN says that this policy document is the first of its kind for the retail sector, and covers the full spectrum of the retail industry – from small stand-alone shops, to multi-tenant shopping malls.
“The idea is to create measures that can help strengthen the retail industry, with a focus on small operators – which we believe are central to growth.”
The policy document is based on three pillars. The first is how retailers can be incentivised to be more efficient, reduce their operating costs and make more investment. The second is how the government can enable growth in the retail sector and in new sector areas and looks at how retailers can increase their revenue. The third pillar relates to retail spaces, including how the government can provide regulation planning schemes and incentives on the structuring of retail spaces in an environmentally sustainable manner, and aims to make sense of retail spaces from the urban perspective”
Asked about the digital side of the retail sector, the PN sources said that the digital side of retail is included in the proposals themselves, such as those relating to electronic payment, exportation through e-commerce, etc.