The National Commission for Further and Higher Education (NCFHE) has been given legal responsibility to set up sector skills units, with the objective of ensuring the consistency and relevance of occupational standards within the sectors They also aim to reduce skills gaps and skills shortage, improve the skills and productivity of the sector’s workforce, improve learning supply, and ensure the recognition and certification of skills and competences within the sector. Each unit is responsible for developing occupational standards relevant to the sector it represents, proposing regulations and mechanisms for validating informal and non-formal learning for all skills within the sector, developing and maintaining a sectoral qualifications framework referenced to the Malta qualifications framework, and providing guidance and counselling services to individuals submitting their documented experiences for validation. They are also responsible for assessments and tests for validating informal and non-formal learning and, from time to time, auditing assessment processes and results achieved. The sector skills units comprise members representing the economic sector, a government authority or board associated with the specific sector, and a member appointed by workers’ representatives within the sector.
Much work has already been done to develop these formal structures in priority sectors. To date seven sector skills units have been set up: childcare, building and construction, hair and beauty, automotive, health and social care, printing and digital media, education and support, and the voluntary sector.