Description

Timespan

The instrument has been in operation between 2008 and 2013.

Stage
No longer operational

The instrument has been in operation between 2008 and 2013, during which time it enhanced the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology's (MCAST) capacity to continue the provision of vocational education in the aviation sector.

Foundations

Policy area

The educational aspect naturally falls under a general educational policy, but the aim is to boost the sector as a whole through better quality employees, hence the relevance to both employment and economic policy.

Policy goal

To reduce the skills mismatch in the aviation maintenance sector by improving training availability and ultimately, the employability of people working in that sector. This project provided basic and advanced training in aircraft maintenance, avionics systems, aircraft structures and composites, which laid the foundations for expert knowledge, competences and licensing in the aviation maintenance sector. This served to improve the MCAST’s training programme portfolio in this area and provided better trained people for this sector, to thus counter the lack of skills found in the aviation maintenance sector.

Mismatch
Part of broader programme, yet with explicit focus

The instrument aims to address the lack of skills presently encountered in the aviation maintenance industry at technician level, whilst at the same time establish the Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology as an approved maintenance training organisation offering training programmes in aviation, while using the aviation sector to increase participation in science and technology.

Aim of policy instrument

Investing in the upgrading of the portfolio of courses offered at the Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology, especially when it comes to the aviation sector.

Administrative level
National
Main responsible body

The Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) was the agency responsible for the roll-out and implementation of this instrument.

Stakeholders

The Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) together with the students of the courses were the beneficiaries of this European Social Fund programme, while MCAST was also the implementing body of this instrument. It provided the necessary capacity for the instrument to be implemented, such as teaching staff.

Funding

A total of €2,100,432 from the European Social Fund (ESF) has been committed to help implement this policy instrument.

Intended beneficiaries

1) People employed in the Aviation Maintenance industry can access better training opportunities and improve their skills.
2) The Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) will improve its capacity and quality of courses being thought when it comes to the aviation sector. 3) MCAST Staff will improve their academic proficiency.
4) Students finishing compulsory education are able to continue their studies and later work in the aviation maintenance industry under this instrument. 5) Adults outside the formal education system are able to tap into the aviation sector with new learned skills under this instrument.

Processes

Use of labour market intelligence

People applying to be trained under this instrument where divided into three separate groups; Category A Training, Category B1 Training and Category B2 Training. What separates the three groups is the experience and skills of their members. This was done in order to build different courses depending on this experience, so as to avoid repetition and waste of time for the applicants themselves. However, all of these groups and their members reached a common standard in aviation maintenance.

Financial schemes

No financial schemes or incentives are used within this initiative. However, students that have finished compulsory schooling and started attending the Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology under this scheme, received the monthly stipend given by the Government to students attending higher education.

Frequency of updates

The content used in this policy instrument was not frequently updated, however the separate groups of students, as well as the teaching staff itself, received different training, upon which the Institute responsible for aviation at MCAST, based its curriculum, which therefore changed according to the needs shown during these courses.

Development

The approach taken by MCAST in implementing the instrument was not adjusted during the term of the programme.

Barriers

No serious challenges presented themselves during the implementation of this instrument.

Success factors

MCAST's close contact with the aviation industry and the setting up of the Aviation Maintenance Training Centre, helped to increase the success rate of the policy instrument.

Monitoring

The greatest indicator of success for this instrument were the number of students that graduated from the programme every year. Another indicator that proved how successful this programme was, is the 47% increase on the number of workers capable in working in the aviation maintenance industry in Malta, after completion of the instrument.

Innovativeness
Not innovative

Sustainability

Evidence of effectiveness

The policy instrument helped 208 people to graduate with aviation maintenance skills, which was a 47% increase from the people that were already working in the sector. 75% of these graduates managed to find a job in the aviation sector within 6 months of the completion of the course. The increase in the number of specialised personnel in the aviation maintenance sector, as well as the added educational capacity that MCAST has received, has led to a greater presence of companies working in the aviation sector in Malta. The increasing number of companies working in the aviation sector that have located their base in Malta might not have been the direct intention of this instrument, however it has proven successful in this regard as well.

Engagement of stakeholders

The Ministry for Education and Employment and the Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology were in constant engagement throughout the planning and implementation of this instrument. Both stakeholders relied on this instrument in order to build the vocational capacity of MCAST, when it comes to the aviation maintenance industry.

Transferability
Not easily transferable

The successful implementation of this instrument in Malta was aided by the ever-growing aviation industry in the country, which is always looking for more employees with high vocational educational standards. EU Member States and other countries that do not have an strong aviation industry might be presented with certain barriers when it comes to implementing such an instrument.

Sustainability

The instrument lasted 5 years between 2008 and 2013 with the help of the European Social Fund (ESF). Due to the successful implementation of this instrument, MCAST and its Aviation Maintenance Training Centre are able to continue training people to address the skills mismatching in the aviation sector.

Description

Timespan

The instrument was in operation from mid-2012 to 2013.

Stage
No longer operational

The instrument is no longer operational, as the intended aim of building up skills in the construction industry was reached.

Foundations

Policy area

Build Up Skills Malta mainly aimed to address the skills shortage in the construction industry by developing a national qualification platform that will mostly benefit young graduates.

Policy goal

The project aimed to address challenges in reaching the 2020 energy policy targets through the development of a roadmap to upgrade relevant skills for the building industry in Malta. The implementation of the Build Up Skills Malta project has helped to identify the national status quo when it comes to the construction industry, in order to upgrade the training and certification of the workforce in the same sector.

Mismatch
Part of broader programme, yet with explicit focus

Build Up Skills Malta was focused on embedding training on intelligent energy solutions for buildings in the mainstream curricula, while at the same time provided skills practice of building professionals.

Aim of policy instrument

The instrument was also used to adapt the content of the courses available for students, as well as to upgrade and develop new courses, when it comes to the building sector.

Administrative level
National
Main responsible body

Building Industry Consultative Council

Stakeholders

Apart from the Building Industry Consultative Council, the partnership responsible for the Build Up Skills Malta project included the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST), the Malta Intelligent Energy Management Agency and the Malta Chamber Foundation. The Malta Chamber Foundation's main role was to analyse all the professions that are involved in the building industry, while taking stock of all the energy efficiency systems and the renewable energy technology. The Malta Intelligent Energy Management Agency's role was to provide expertise in EU projects participation and in issues relating to Energy Efficiency (EE) and Renewable Energy Sources (RES). The role of MCAST in the Build Up Skills Malta was to prepare the National Status Quo document, which provided the objectives and specifications of the project, existing VET programmes and the identification of target groups within the industry.

Funding

A total of €197,451 in funding were committed to this project, out of which 90% (€177,706) was funded by the European Union through the Intelligent Energy Europe programme of the European Commission, now the remit of Horizon 2020.

Intended beneficiaries

The intended beneficiary of the Build Up Skills Malta project was the construction industry as a whole, as well the country in-general. The construction industry benefitted from better skills in constructing low carbon buildings, while the country will be able to reach the 2020 energy goals at a faster rate, considering that the Maltese construction sector is one of the main industries that could help Malta reach better energy standards. These goals will be reached through the workers tied to the construction industry, which can reach up to 110 different trades. They will be the ultimate beneficiaries in that they will be the ones receiving the training.

Processes

Use of labour market intelligence

Firstly, a total of seven occupational profiles were identified as being of importance to the Roadmap that was being created. A skills gap analysis was conducted, where the skills required for each occupation were compared to the existing IVET courses related to construction and the built environment. In turn, from the data collected, a number of recommendations were made to address skills on energy when it comes to the built environment.

Financial schemes

Financial incentives were offered to building contractors and SMEs that send their workers for training, however no specific numbers have been mentioned.

Frequency of updates

The policy instrument itself was not updated during the year of implementation, however several issues such as the professions, as well as the educational needs, were identified as the year progressed in order to be able to build a comprehensive Roadmap.

Development

The approach taken by the partnership was not adjusted during the implementation of the instrument.

Barriers

During implementation of this instrument, the Partnership responsible came across several barriers, namely structural, financial and participation challenges. During implementation it was found out that, better enforcement of legislative requirements act as a driver for increased participation rates, which in turn increase allocated financial resources. There were still structural challenges that remained during the implementation of the instrument.

Success factors

The involvement of the most relevant stakeholders for the Platform, made it easier to get a well-rounded view of what a new national qualification platform should include. The small size of the country proved to be an advantage, since all interested stakeholders, whether building contractors, energy experts, researchers and lecturers, were able to meet face-to-face for a number of seminars and discuss the most pressing issues that they were facing.

Monitoring

A number of seminars and meetings took place to present new data on the construction industry and the effect on the 2020 energy goals, during which the Roadmap was designed, which addresses the skills requirements in the sector.

Innovativeness
Slightly innovative

By managing to bring together all the construction-related stakeholders, including education institutions like the Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology and authorities like the Building Industry Consultative Council, the policy instrument had a clear starting point, as well as a focused end point and how this could be achieved. The good relations between these stakeholders led to the creation of a Platform responsible for such an initiative, even after this project ended in 2013.

Sustainability

Evidence of effectiveness

The policy instrument proved to be effective, as a number of recommendations made through it, such as the creation of the Skills Card, where implemented a few years later. The recommendation was put in the 'National Roadmap for Energy Training of Workers in the Building Industry' report, which was produced by the same stakeholders of the policy instrument. The implementation, as well as the end result of the policy instrument, has been beneficial both to the organisations involved, as well as the building contractors that were provided with better workers once training and skills were matched with recent building methods to preserve energy. Through the development of a national qualification platform in this policy instrument, stakeholders have also realised that there are certain gaps in the skills of construction workers, not just in energy, but also in other areas. The final report had mentioned this and led to a process in order to close this gap, including the creation of a Skill Card by one of the stakeholders of this policy instrument.

Engagement of stakeholders

The stakeholders were constantly being updated with the latest data when it comes to energy in the built environment, during the seminars organised by the Building Industry Consultative Council, where the Malta Chamber Foundation, the Malta Intelligent Energy Management Agency and the Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology also gave presentation on their research, which helped built the Roadmap towards better skills in the sector.

Transferability
Not easily transferable

Due to the common climate conditions all around the island and the common building practises in Malta, the same initiative is not easily transferable to other EU Member States. At the same time, such initiative could be transferable and replicated at a regional level in other countries, where similar practises might be used.

Sustainability

The project has ended in 2013, however the Platform that was set up as a result of the instrument being implemented, is meant to continue function even after the project has reached its aim.

Description

Timespan

The Construction Industry Skill Card (CISC) started being implemented in 2015 and is currently still in operation.

Stage
Fully operational

Foundations

Policy area

The Construction Industry Skill Card (CISC) is aimed at providing new skills to people already working in the construction industry.

Policy goal

This instrument will help to address the shortage of skills in the construction industry. It also aims to improve quality standards, health and safety practices and employment conditions in this sector. The policy instrument creates an official method of recognition for people that have worked in the construction industry for years and never had their technical knowledge recognised. Apart from this, the workers will also benefit from training that will in turn lead to higher construction standards, including in health and safety as well as employment conditions.

Mismatch
Part of broader programme, yet with explicit focus

The CISC is focused on providing a higher quality standard of work for the people employed in the built environment, which includes provisions to upgrade and modernize the service being offered, whilst reaching the standards found in other EU countries.

Administrative level
National
Main responsible body

The Building Industry Consultative Council is the agency responsible for the implementation of this policy instrument.

Stakeholders

While the Building Industry Consultative Council is heading the project, there were a number of other stakeholders involved, including; the National Commission for Further and Higher Education (NCFHE), the Malta College for Art, Science and Technology (MCAST), the University of Malta (UOM), the Ministry for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties through the Occupational Health and Safety Authority (OHSA), the Ministry for Education and Employment through the Employment and Training Corporation (ETC), the Building Regulations Office (BRO), and the Department of Local Government.
The role of the NCFHE was to draw up the competence skills for every trade at the various levels. The Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology and the University of Malta are two of the institution that provided skills training for the participants. In turn, the ETC will be involved when a person does not have a certificate issued by an educational institution, where the Corporation is able to provide a trade test in that particular trade. The BRO is able to enforce the Skills Card legislation, while OHSA's contribution was the development of the course when it comes to health and safety at the workplace. Local Councils, represented by the Department of Local Government, also had a role to play. People interested in applying for Skills Card training courses were able to collect the applications from their respective Local Council, where a number of seminars about the Skill Card also took place.

Funding

The Construction Industry Skills Card has been funded through National funds, however, there has been no mention in any official or unofficial documents, of the amount committed in implementing this instrument.

Intended beneficiaries

The intended beneficiaries of this policy instrument are the workers in the construction industry, where they will benefit from added skills to match those of their, continuously-changing industry. The industry itself will also be a beneficiary through improvement in health and safety standards, employment conditions and higher quality.

Processes

Use of labour market intelligence

Alongside the LMSI tools being used, there are Skill certificates, which are awarded at various levels, namely apprenticeship, operator, craftsman, technician and professional. Assessments are also carried out through appraisals at accredited institutions, and existing operators can be assessed on site by an authorised body. At the same time, all applicants must attend a health and safety awareness course, where after the presentation of skill level certification and attendance of this course, the competent authority would issue the relevant skill card.

Financial schemes

Workers are encouraged to apply for the training provided in order to receive the CISC. However, no financial schemes or incentives are being offered, apart from having written recognition of their experience and technical knowledge.

Frequency of updates

The content of the instrument has been formulated by the Education, Training, Classification and Registration of Contractors Working Group and had only minor change after public consultations.

Development

During the first year of implementing the policy instrument, a pilot project was carried out on four trades: tile layers, plasterers and painters, assistant electricians and plumbers. These trades were identified after research showed that local service providers in the tile-laying and decoration sectors are facing the most unfair competition from abusive service providers. The first five years, including the one year pilot project, are being considered as a transition period, after which the CISC will become compulsory for those working under public procurement regulations.

Barriers

One of the barriers mentioned when it came to implementing the roll-out of the instrument was that the workers were unsure of what Skill Card to apply for, since Building Industry Consultative Council (BICC) offered five different levels, each of which had to be applied for separately.

Success factors

One of the factors that are contributed to the success of the instrument was that electricians were already certified and could thus offer a certain level of standard that could be measured against when training other workers in the construction industry.

Monitoring

Indicators being used to measure the success of the CISC are the increase in productivity and income, and the decrease in work-related injuries for both workers and building contractors.

Innovativeness
Not innovative

The creation of Skill Cards for different sectors and industries is not something new, in fact, the CISC by the Building Industry Consultative Council in Malta is based on the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) in the United Kingdom.

Sustainability

Evidence of effectiveness

A few weeks after the CISC was rolled-out and started being implemented, a number of workers in the construction industry, including those in restoration works, successfully completed the training that was provided and were given the Skill Card. In the first year of the programme, nearly 100 workers took part in the courses provided by the instrument, and by 2020 all 110 different trades involved in the construction industry will be able to apply for the Skill Card. The instrument is still operational and therefore results are ongoing, however, both authorities and stakeholders alike have praised the creation of the CISC and the synergy this has created between health and safety awareness and the construction industry. Even though Local Governments, through the Government Department responsible, have direct interest in the issue, these have taken a larger role in organising small meetings as well as acting as a one stop shop, for those interested in the CISC.

Engagement of stakeholders

Before the instrument started being implemented BICC's Advisory Board assigned the Education, Training, Classification and Registration of Contractors Working Group to work on the introduction of the Construction Industry Skill Card (CISC) in Malta, and to identify skill gaps in the workforce. This initiative was agreed to by the Government and was included as a measure in the 2015 Government Budget. The BICC, together with the Ministry of Education and other stakeholders, drafted the White Paper, which clearly outlined the aim of the Skill Card and the role of each stakeholder in the implementation of the policy instrument. A public consultation on this White Paper was also held a later stage.

Transferability
Easily transferable

The CISC could be easily transferable and replicated in other EU Member States that wish to regulate and improve the standards in the built environment. This is especially so when it comes to certifying skills in location-particular trades and health and safety standards.

Sustainability

After its roll-out in 2015, the Skills Card is currently in its five year transition period, after which the CISC will become compulsory for public procurement contracts, and cardholders will be requested to update their card on a regular basis.

Description

Timespan

This policy instrument was implemented in 2014 and will come to an end in 2020.

Stage
Fully operational

Foundations

Policy area

The main policy of the instrument is to increase the productivity and adaptability of people currently working within the Maltese Labour Market.

Policy goal

The goal of this policy instrument is to reach people who are active in the Maltese labour market and find it difficult to pursue courses to enhance their skills, as a part-time option. Through Investing in Skills, these people are able to train and better their knowledge in their place of work, at a minimal to no cost for the employer. The instrument will be helping both companies and workers alike. Companies will benefit through increased productivity of their workers, while these in turn would be more adaptable to the skills required in the Maltese labour market.

Mismatch
Part of broader programme, yet with explicit focus

While giving training to workers will undoubtedly reduced the mismatch between skills and jobs, this policy is aimed more at enhancing the knowledge and adaptability of the workers in their current workplaces.

Administrative level
National
Main responsible body

Jobsplus is the agency responsible for implementing the Investing in Skills instrument.

Stakeholders

The Investing in Skills instrument brings together Jobsplus, the Ministry for Education and Employment (MEDE), the Treasury Department, EU Funds Management Unit (EUFMU) within the Ministry for Finance (MFIN), as well as the beneficiaries themselves, that is, companies within the Maltese labour market. Jobsplus has the overall responsibility for the management and implementation of Investing in Skills, including conducting unannounced monitoring visits to workplaces of the beneficiaries. The Ministry for Education and Employment also has the possibility to conduct unannounced visits to the different workplaces, while the Treasury Department is responsible for carrying out relevant checks, particularly checking that the expenditure and supporting documentation is correct and in line with National financial regulations, and at the same time effecting reimbursement to beneficiaries through the Central Bank of Malta.

Funding

€8 million have been allocated for the implementation of the Investing in Skills instrument. These will be spread over the five years and will be co-financed by funds from the European Social Fund of the European Commission, the Maltese Government, and the beneficiaries of the instrument.

Intended beneficiaries

The intended beneficiaries of the instrument are the companies that employ the people they are willing to train, and therefore responsible for the implementation of the Scheme within the same company. Ultimately, the beneficiaries are also the workers themselves, who will be rewarded with enhanced skills and added knowledge.

Processes

Use of labour market intelligence

Private companies are offered financial incentives to use trainers and create training courses based on their line of work, and teach their employees new skills, which will help them achieve more adaptability and increased productivity.

Financial schemes

Through Investing in Skills, a number of financial incentives for employers have been provided. Jobsplus is reimbursing the unit cost of €25 per trainee per hour, up to 15 trainees for the same training under IIS, irrespective if these claims derive from separate and unrelated beneficiaries. Jobsplus reimburses the unit cost based on the training hours actually attended by each trainee up to a maximum of 25 hours for non-accredited training. If training is accredited by the NCFHE (National Commission for Further and Higher Education), ITS (Institute of Tourism Studies), UOM (University of Malta) and MCAST (Malta College of Arts, Science & Technology) the capping of 25 hours will not be applied. Investing in Skills is also subsidising air travel costs, where involved, which are based on the Erasmus Plus Grant Support for the mobility of staff and Trainee Wage Costs, at a standard rate of €4.90 per trainee per hour, which is to be applied for external training that occurs during the normal working hours of the trainees.

Frequency of updates

Financial incentives offered as part of the Investing in Skills instrument are updated according to the agreed package of the European Social Fund, whilst training courses depend on the institution responsible for them, as well as the subject they cover.

Development

The Investing in Skills instrument is currently in operation in its third year and up to this point, no adjustment has been made to the scheme.

Barriers

No barriers and challenges have currently been faced, however the instrument is still in implementation phase.

Success factors

The constant engagement between the relevant stakeholders, especially when it comes to the private companies, have so far made the instrument successful.

Monitoring

Monitoring the correct implementation of the instrument is mostly carried out by Jobsplus, which looks at companies that apply under the scheme and the number of workers being trained as signs of progress. Progress under this instrument is measured yearly, when funds are also disbursed to the beneficiaries.

Innovativeness
Not innovative

Investing in Skills is one of a number of programmes under the European Social Fund that provided training to workers in the private sector at a subsidized cost to the employer and thus, not a very innovative instrument. What makes Investing in Skills different from instruments implemented in other countries is the large number of SMEs that work in similar sectors and industries, and this can be beneficial to the companies themselves.

Sustainability

Evidence of effectiveness

The instrument is still operational, however, in 2017 some 38 different private companies in various industries have benefited from Investing in Skills. These companies have been awarded around €145,804 for the training of their employees. The beneficiaries of the Investing in Skills instrument have been successful in tapping into this policy to further the knowledge and skills of their workers. However, the real benefits brought about by this instrument will have to be measured and monitored upon the end of this scheme in 2020. Currently, there have been no unexpected benefits or costs to the instrument.

Engagement of stakeholders

The agency that is mainly responsible for the national implementation of the instrument is in constant contact with the other stakeholders involved, namely: the Ministry for Education and Employment (MEDE), the Treasury Department at the Ministry for Finance, as well as the companies that apply under this instrument. While Jobsplus and MEDE come in contact with the beneficiaries through registration and shadowing of the companies, the Treasury Department is responsible for the distribution of the financial incentives offered through Investing in Skills.

Transferability
Easily transferable

In order to be able to transfer Investing in Skills to other EU Member States, one would be more successful in grouping companies, that can apply under this scheme, according to their specialisation or industry.

Sustainability

Investing in Skills is currently in its third year of operation and will come to an end in 2020. Continuing this instrument beyond 2020 is, however, questionable, if no ESF funds are allocated due to the extensive budget of this programme.

Description

Timespan

The instrument has been in operation between 2010 and 2015.

Stage
No longer operational

The programme has been finalised, as the intended aim of skills mismatch was reached.

Foundations

Policy area

The instrument helped to address the anticipated educational needs of industrial sectors and identify the potential skill gaps and shortages of the present workforce.

Policy goal

Several goals where defined, including conducting research in ten sector groups, where a report generated for each sector will seek to identify skills, competences and qualifications that will be used as the basics to design tailormade courses for each industrial sector. There was an aim to re-skill 20% of participants to enable them to take up new tasks in the same or different industry sector and to up-skill 80% of participants to enable them to take up new tasks or perform better the same tasks within the relevant industry. There was also the goal to identify and address emerging trends developing in the labour market by providing approximately 3,600 hours of training across 10 sectors. This project aimed to identify the specific skills needs and current gaps in 10 different sectors. After this, the instrument also allowed people to apply for courses related to these sectors, which will ultimately give them the adaptability to move around in the Maltese labour market and in turn close the skills mismatch that exists in the market.

Mismatch
Explicitly designed to address skill mismatch

The research groups specifically search for skills mismatches in each of the 10 sectors respectively. VET and education programmes for those sectors are then adjusted accordingly. Hence the measure explicitly addresses skills mismatches.

Administrative level
National
Main responsible body

The agency responsible for the implementation of this instrument is the Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST).

Stakeholders

The Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST), the Institute for Tourism Studies (ITS), the Malta Chamber of Commerce, and the Malta Qualifications Council were responsible for coordinating the implementation of the project, along with research groups who establish the sectoral needs. The MCAST, the Qualifications Council and the Institute for Tourism Studies (ITS) coordinated the project implementation. The MCAST is the main VET institution in the country, closely affiliated with the ETC (Education and Training Corporation), which is the PES of Malta, while ITS is an institute of higher education. The Malta Qualifications Council is the body which oversees the Malta Qualifications Framework.

Funding

This programme costed €590,021 with 85% of the sum divided between the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF), while the remaining 15% was funded through National Funds.

Intended beneficiaries

The ultimate beneficiaries are those people who follow the adapted training and education programmes. Other beneficiaries of this instrument are MCAST and the ITS, in that their programmes and curricula are adapted to accurately address current sectoral needs.

Processes

Use of labour market intelligence

Research has been conducted in ten sector groups; Pharmaceuticals and Chemicals, Financial Services, ICT, Furniture, Printing, Infrastructure, Food, Beverages, Maritime and Plastics, and Tourism sectors. A report generated for each sector sought to identify skills, competences and qualifications that will be used as the basis to design tailor-made courses for each industrial sector.

Financial schemes

This policy instrument is financed through the European Social Fund (ESF), however the intended beneficiaries of the training did not receive any financial incentives to participate.

Frequency of updates

Content of the training remained the same throughout the implementation of the instrument.

Development

The approach taken by the responsible agency depended on the research made into finding the ten sector groups. After this step, the courses and training provided were adjusted accordingly.

Barriers

There were no serious barriers in the carrying out of this policy instrument. However, one might mention the lack of any incentives, whether financial or otherwise, which might have put some people off from attending the training and enhancing their skills.

Success factors

Some of the factors that have made this instrument a success was the research that took place, which in turn provided industry-specific training, and also the relatively short and free courses that were offered by MCAST in these sectors.

Monitoring

The greatest indicators that were used to measure the success of such an instrument were the number of applicants, whether in their attendance or in their educational success during the training and courses.

Innovativeness
Slightly innovative

Identifying skills gaps by collaborating with industries is quite an innovative approach in that this is one of the first skills mismatch identification policies in Malta. While similar measures exist in other countries, the notion of forming research groups to tackle the top 10 sectors experiencing growth appears quite an efficient approach. The collaboration with education and training related organizations is also important to actually use the results. Having these two stages in one programme is also a sound approach, as it guarantees the use of the research group’s findings. This is to become a more systematic way of identifying skills mismatches and consequently which skills are needed in which sectors.

Sustainability

Evidence of effectiveness

Given the amount of sectors under examination within this project, and the fact that education and training programmes will be adapted across those industries, the impact was estimated to be high, while the effects of this measure are likely to be quite broader than the immediate sector. The intended beneficiaries of this policy instrument have been as expected, through addressing emerging trends in the labour market by providing approximately 3,600 hours of training across the ten sectors. There were no unexpected benefits or costs to this policy instrument.

Engagement of stakeholders

The Ministry for Education and Employment constantly consulted with the Malta Chamber of Commerce, the Malta Qualifications Council and the Institute of Tourism Studies. Companies involved in Pharmaceuticals and Chemicals, Financial Services, ICT, Furniture, Printing, Infrastructure, Food, Beverages, Maritime and Plastics, and Tourism sectors have also been consulted on the skill shortages of the labour workforce when it comes to their sectors, through thorough research done beforehand.

Transferability
Not easily transferable

Provided there is collaboration between similar VET and education related institutes with bodies organizing qualifications frameworks and occupational standards, this programme would be quite transferable. However, here the size and organization of Malta comes into play in that it has one main VET institution, MCAST, which collaborates closely with the Malta Qualifications Council. Organizing and co-ordinating research groups and tailoring training are made easier as most VET courses are to be found under one roof. As such, it is a transferable instrument provided there is close collaboration between organizations addressing organizational standards and qualifications, VET and education, and sectoral needs.

Sustainability

The sustainability of this programme without ESF funding is questionable. The measure does not appear to require too many extra permanent administrative structures. The research phase and tailoring of education and training programmes stage took place once for each sector throughout the project period.