Mr James Calleja has been involved in vocational education and training since 2001. Before his appointment as Director of Cedefop in October 2013, he served as Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Employment (2011-2013) in his native Malta.
In 2005 he was entrusted with the setting up of the Malta Qualifications Council where he served as Chief Executive up to December 2010. In 2009 he also took charge of the National Commission for Higher Education (2009-10). Mr Calleja was responsible for the merger between the two agencies in 2010-2011. Since 1988 he has held a part-time lecturing position in the Faculty of Education and since 2001 in the Department of International Studies of the University of Malta. In summer 2013 he was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor of the University of Malta. In his personal capacity he also serves as Council Member of the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications.
Mr Calleja is a graduate of the Universities of Malta, Padua (Italy) and Bradford (UK). In the UK he obtained his PhD from the University of Bradford defending a thesis on education and international relations in the context of Kant’s political philosophy. Since 2001, Mr Calleja is an accredited commercial mediator with CEDR (London).
In 2001, he was appointed Administrative Director of the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology and in 2004, he moved to the European Training Foundation in Turin as Administrator. Prior to these appointments he served in the Foundation for International Studies of the University of Malta (1986-1995), the United Nations International Institute on Aging (1995-1998) and in the Ministry of Economic Services Malta (1998-2001).
A prolific writer, Mr Calleja has published books and articles and has edited various publications. He is the co-author of the Malta Referencing Report of the Malta Qualifications Framework to the European Qualifications Framework and the Qualifications Framework-European Higher Education Area. He has chaired, participated in and presented several papers at international seminars, conferences and workshops and conducted training programmes in various countries in Europe, North America, South-East Asia, Australia, Africa, South Africa, the Middle East and in the Mediterranean region. He represented Malta on the EQF Advisory Group, on CEDEFOP’s Governing Board and on the Bologna Follow-Up Group. He was also a member of the Council of the University of Malta representing the Ministry of Education and Employment.