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COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

Eurofound's COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the crisis, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for case MT-2020-24/936 – measures in Malta

Skills Development Scheme

Skema tal-iżvillupp tal-ħiliet

Country Malta , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 09 June 2020
Type Other initiatives or policies
Category Supporting businesses to get back to normal
– Enhancing employability and training
Author Luke Anthony Fiorini (University of Malta) and Eurofound
Case created 07 July 2020 (updated 14 July 2020)

Background information

The Skills Development Scheme is a scheme offered by the Malta Enterprise. It aims to support organisations in providing training which develops or updates the knowledge and skills of their workforce.

During an announcement of COVID-19 related measures which aimed to aid the country to recovery economically, it was announced that the budget of this scheme was to be topped up by €5 million.

Content of measure

The Skills Development Scheme supports business undertakings to provide training to develop and update the skills and knowledge of their workforce when such training is not legally mandatory for the operation of the business. The measure also does not cover team building activities, company culture, brand identity and other similar actions, or training related to gambling. The original scheme was applicable until 31 December 2022 and had a budget of €30 million. Amongst the costs that can be covered by the program are: wage costs of trainees and trainers, air travel in sending trainees abroad or bringing trainers to Malta, and the rental of necessary equipment and training rooms.

Currently limited information is available of how this scheme is to be developed in view of COVID-19, however it was stated that: "Malta Enterprise will be building upon an existing measure to reach more businesses through a top-up of €5 million on the budget allocation for this scheme. This top-up shall be directed towards those businesses that employ fewer than 50 persons. The aim will be that of advocating mainly in-house training, and focus on fostering the sharing of skills between the most experienced and younger employees. This will also help us to address skills dissipation once workers retire."

Use of measure

Whilst announced, the measure is yet to be formally offered.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Self-employed
SMEs
One person or microenterprises
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Consulted
Form Direct consultation outside a formal body Direct consultation outside a formal body

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown

Involvement

By means of a tripartite agreement, a package of measures to save jobs and organisations was agreed on 24th march 2020. This was the third but most significant package of measures announced by the Government. Following this agreement, social partners remained in direct contact with the government highlighting their proposals of what was felt was still necessary to save the Maltese economy and jobs. In view of this, on the 8 June 2020, the government announced a 'mini budget' to help the Maltese economy to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Essentially, this was the fourth package of measures announced by the government. The current measure formed part of this package. The current measure is administered by the Malta Enterprise.

Views and reactions

The fourth package of measures, of which the current measure formed part of, received public support from an array of social partners. Those positive and vocal about it were primarily business associations, including the Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber of SMEs, the Malta Employers' Association, the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association, and the Association of Catering Establishments. These associations commented on the proposals in general which also included reduced electricity tariffs, aid with rent, and vouchers. The feedback on the overall package from unions was more mixed; THe Union Ħaddiema Magħqudin (UHM) Voice of the Workers argued that only 6% of €900 million mini-budget will end up benefitting workers directly. Conversely, the General Workers' Union supported the package.

Sources

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Skills Development Scheme, case MT-2020-24/936 (measures in Malta), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, http://eurofound.link/covid19eupolicywatch

Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process. All information is preliminary and subject to change.