Launch of the CEDEFOP Thematic Country Review on Apprenticeship in Malta

Publication Date: Oct 02, 2015
Malta launched a Thematic Cou​ntry Review on Apprenticeships carried out by CEDEFOP, and agency within the European Commission which supports development of European vocational education and training (VET) policies.
During the launch of the Thematic Country Reviews on ApprenticeschipsThe main objective of this review was to develop recommendations for structural and systems reform leading to high-quality apprenticeship programmes as part of formal education and training. Such apprenticeship programmes would also lead to formal qualifications referenced to the Malta Qualifications Framework (MQF).
Apprenticeship programmes in Malta are going through their second cycle of development. There was an attempt during 1990-2014 to create a ‘culture’ for apprenticeship to attract an important segment of learners who otherwise would have lost their employability. Apprenticeship programmes with VET provision of the off-the-job and the on-the-job learning provided separately often resulted in disconnected learning experiences. This review illustrates that a serious attempt is being made to bring the world of learning and the world of employment closer together through apprenticeship. This is being accomplished by giving the Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) an overarching role.
It is apparent that apprenticeship governance needs to be revisited so that strategy design, provision and quality assurance are interdependent and act through a clearer legal framework, clear guidelines and procedures. The world of employment needs to be given formal responsibilities and treated on equal footing with the world of education in strategy design and provision.
If these objectives are achieved, apprenticeship in Malta will improve its image among all stakeholders and learners will be attracted to this form of learning at all levels of the MQF. In accomplishing this culture change, guidance and counselling services will play a vital role in portraying new learning pathways towards quality jobs, career prospects, and a better quality of life.
The exercise took place between May 2014 and April 2015 and was led jointly by CEDEFOP and the Ministry for Education and Employment in collaboration with a national ad-hoc Steering Group which also was responsible to validate the project findings. This consisted of the European Programmes Agency, Agenzija Zghazagh, 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.