EAEA News 2008-01-21
Best Practice of Adult Education in Malta
In Malta, numerous adult training courses are organized in collaboration between the Employment and Training Corporation (ETC) and the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) and the Institute for Tourism Studies (ITS), obtaining very good results.
Apart from enhancing personal development and upgrading social status, on-going proficient adult education leads to the possibility of adequate gainful employment and enhances the performance at work. Best practices in such a vital issue in various countries are beneficial to note and to learn from. On one hand, one has to transmit the best education available and on the other hand, one has to find the best way to do it. Heavy promotion and good incentives play an important role. It is important to know the country´s employment requirements and also the background of the course participants.
Course participants may have specific time frames and for example one has to see what time and days would be most suitable for running the courses. The length and frequency of the lessons should be also considered. The ETC would assess what the country´s employment needs are. Such an exercise has translated itself into a passport for immediate employment for the vast majority of participants (circa 96% find employment on completion of their apprenticeship). For employers, the system has managed to create a pool of qualified and experienced workers capable of adapting themselves to the specific needs of the sector.
ETC organises courses to meet the immediate and specific needs posted by employers. Very recently the ETC concluded two very particular ESF projects, one dealing with youths who were previously in Institutional Care and the other dealt with the fostering of an Entrepreneurial culture amongst women.
Some 19 youngsters have participated in the Youths in Care programme organized by the ETC with financial support of the European Social Funds. The programme consisted in three phases, the first phase being an in-depth assessment of participants identified as needing support. The aim of the assessment was to determine the training needs and career aspirations of each of the participants. The second phase was made up of a number of remedial training programmes in basic and soft skills that nowadays are considered as essential for ones progression to a particular career. The third and final phase was in depth training in vocational areas chosen by the particulars themselves. One has to note that through this initiative a number of participants have managed to obtain passes in certain Matsec subjects, others have obtained vocational certificates and a large majority (16 out of 19) have so far ended up in gainful employment. Considering the social and educational background of the participants and the results achieved, the programme was a huge success.
Promoting an entrepreneurial culture amongst women is being encouraged all over Europe and in many countries. The ETC in Malta is making a vast promotional campaign on all local TV stations, aimed at enticing females to start their own business. ETC offers training in business start up skills, and provides and updates a training manual and a CD in Maltese and English in business start-up skills and offers also a mentoring programme for individuals interested in providing mentoring services to prospective business starters.
The ETC is also involved with the provision of a variety of training programmes. Programmes are offered in basic/remedial areas, in ICT skills, Trade and Office related and in Care. Some programmes are designed for very particular client groups as is the Empowerment Skills for Women in Refuge: the training programme is particularly designed for women who are either homeless and/or have gone through domestic violence and many of them had to stay in refuge homes. This programme included training sessions in self-empowerment and job-readiness skills. Women who were illiterate have also been encouraged to follow a literacy course offered by the Corporation.
A similar initiative was the Refugee Orientation Programmes that the ETC organized in collaboration of INTEGRA Foundation. The programme was made up of 3 main parts, namely:
- Active citizenship
- Practical information for newcomers to Malta
- Employment and job skills preparation
Following this programme Refugees and Asylum seekers were also supported through the other numerous mainstream training programmes organized by the Corporation: trade, non-trade and literacy
The ETC also organises the Basic Employment Training scheme (BET). The aim of the scheme is to provide basic employment skills to young school leavers who for one reason or another are coming out of the present educational system with little or no skills / qualifications, academic or otherwise. This scheme was intended for male and female secondary school leavers. No entry requirements were imposed but each participant was assessed so as to establish the entry level. The Basic Skills programme was based on the recommendations put forward in the Memorandum on Lifelong Learning issued by the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament (Brussels, 2000). This memorandum defined basic skills as those required for active participation in the knowledge society and economy - in the labor market and at work in the community and in a democracy, as a person with a coherent sense of identity and direction in life.
- Maltese Literacy
- English Literacy
- Numeracy Skills
- Life Skills
- Information Technology
- Technology Education
- Employability Skills
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