Vocational education and training in Malta

Vocational education and training, or VET,
in Malta has good employment prospects. Many employers are looking for staff
with particular vocational skills, not only in traditionally strong sectors such
as tourism, but also in emerging sectors. Responsibility for VET lies with the
Ministry of Education and Employment. Young learners in compulsory education
can include two VET subjects, chosen from agribusiness, hospitality,
IT, health and social care and engineering – in their studies. After compulsory education, one in
three 17-year-olds continues in VET at one of two main State providers
– the Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) and the Institute for Tourism Studies (ITS)
– or at a private VET college. Foundation and introduction programmes
offer young people leaving compulsory education a basis for further study. These programmes can also lead to
employment, for example in the clothing, manufacturing and construction sectors. Two-year college-based programmes,
for foundation certificate holders and those with a compulsory education
qualification, include work-based learning and allow progress to the next level. They train people to become assistants
in health care, a sector facing severe recruitment bottlenecks, or take up other professions such as
PC hardware repair technicians. One- to two-year apprenticeship schemes
may also follow foundation programmes. Apprentices have a contract with MCAST
and their employer and receive pay for on-the-job training and
financial support from the government. A popular apprenticeship offered
is hairdressing. Post-secondary level college-based
programmes and apprenticeship schemes cater to the skill needs of traditional
and emerging sectors. Engineering graduates have job
opportunities as technicians in shipbuilding. The growing financial services sector
benefits from graduates with business and management qualifications. Graduates may also continue to VET
higher diploma programmes. People with work experience can
access these through validation of informal learning. Higher VET also includes
bachelor programmes. Higher diploma holders meeting
entry requirements can enter these in the third year. VET bachelors for work as ICT developer
or graphic designer in the expanding i-gaming and media industry are popular. Malta’s VET system gives people
progression opportunities. 13% of VET bachelor degree graduates
worked their way up from foundation programmes. VET bachelors aiming higher have
the option to enrol in selected academic master programmes. For more information on VET in Malta
and other European Union Member States – plus Norway and Iceland – see – www.cedefop.europa.eu

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