In his speech, Minister Bartolo referred to apprenticeships as an excellent link between the world of education and the world of employment. He said that apprenticeships are learning processes ideal for learners who wish to embark on various levels of qualifications even as low as level one so that they serve as an incentive for further qualifications.
The Minister stressed that apprenticeships should be the product of solid partnerships between vocational education and training (VET) institutions, industry and employee representatives as well as civil society. Minister Bartolo believes that, because of the size of industries in Malta, rotating apprenticeships could be more attractive to young learners.
In his address, the Cedefop Director said that the thematic country reviews on apprenticeships conducted in different countries are in support of the European alliance for apprenticeships. They are also a tool to combat youth unemployment and create alternative learning environments in the industry, which would encourage lifelong learning and the acquisition of formal qualifications.
Mr Calleja emphasised that the objective of the review, which will be completed in 2015, is to create quality apprenticeships and programmes as part of formal education and training and certified through qualifications referenced to the Malta qualifications framework.
The meeting was also addressed by Tanya Sammut-Bonnici, member of Cedefop’s Governing Board, Richard Curmi, project co-ordinator for Malta, and Cedefop experts Antonio Ranieri and Ramona David Craescu who are leading the project for the European institution. The project is led by a group of over 30 stakeholders from chambers of commerce, employers’ associations, employment agencies, European Union agencies, government-funded educational institutions, trade unions and youth and student organisations.
The stakeholders’ group for the Malta project includes the European Programmes Agency, Agenzija Zaghzagh, Directorate of Lifelong Learning, Employment and Training Corporation, General Retailers and Traders Union, Gozo Chamber of Commerce, Institute of Tourism and its student representatives, Jobs+, Malta Chamber of Commerce, Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology and its student representatives, Malta Employers’ Association, Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association, National Commission for Further and Higher Education, and the University of Malta and its student representatives.