During the last Extraordinary General Meeting of the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry in March 2011, members agreed to establish the Malta Chamber Foundation with the strategic aim to create another instrument through which the Malta Chamber enhances its value-added efforts to its members in a number of areas.
The Foundation is a registered Voluntary Organisation, with its own Board. This currently consists of five persons with Mrs Helga Ellul acting as Chairperson, former President of the Malta Chamber. The remaining members of the Board are Mr Frank Farrugia and Perit David Xuereb, both Council members of the Malta Chamber, and Malta Chamber Directors General, Mr Kevin J. Borg and Ing. Ray Muscat.
Aims and Objectives
The principal aims of the Foundation are:
- the promotion and enhancement of the social role, ethics, needs and values of commerce, enterprise and industry;
- the promotion of corporate social responsibility of enterprise towards the community, the environment, health and safety and the advancement thereof;
- the process of increasing awareness in a varied number of fields, through educational programmes and information sessions and specialised events; and
- the identification of EU funding opportunities in-line with the general demand arising from Malta Chamber members as well as the Foundation's own capacity building needs.
Education and continuous awareness of business best practices are among the principal activities of the Foundation. The importance of continuous investment in the education of employees is a key vehicle for competitiveness. Indeed, a number of education levels will be tackled, with a focus on Vocational Education and Training (VET). The emphasis on VET is specifically to reinforce the capability of members' employees to address the changing demands of business; people who perhaps did not have the opportunity to follow a formal course of study or wish to build upon their existing knowledge and expertise. This emphasis is seen as a continuation on the success that has already been achieved by the Malta Chamber (in collaboration with Malta’s vocational college, the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology) through its Diploma in Manufacturing Excellence, the Diploma in Green Energy Technology and the recent design of an injection moulding technician apprenticeship programme targeted at the Plastics and Rubber Manufacturing sectors.
The education delivery formats that are being considered include:
- short programmes, whereby participants will be awarded a certificate of achievement or attendance upon the completion of the course;
- modular programmes, which would preferably lead to a qualification in line with the qualification levels as established by the Malta Qualifications Framework (MQF); and
- longer-term programmes, which would be endorsed by a recognised foreign institution as well as by the MQF.
The thematic areas that are being considered include:
- environmental issues and green technologies;
- management training, aspects of entrepreneurship, start-up business and venture financing;
- quality management, innovation management and business excellence;
- aspects related to human resource development, occupational health and safety;
- preparation for internationalisation;
- specialisations which are demanded by specific sectors of the membership.
It is planned that these education efforts will be undertaken either in collaboration with members or with established educational institutions. Additionally, following a call for education services among the Malta Chamber membership, the Foundation is gradually developing a portfolio of such services.
Participation in European Programmes
As noted, another principal aim of the Foundation is to target opportunities in the various EU programmes. This effort should serve to:
- expand the scope and reach of the Foundation;
- identify ways to proactively support those SME members who are keen to tap into the potential offered by such EU programmes, to form part of international networks and acquire new knowledge, which in turn may lead to business opportunities; and
- act as a platform for future crucial projects in internationalisation support and expansion of client's businesses.
The Malta Chamber Foundation is also tapping into the knowledge and experience of the Malta Chamber with regards to European Union Programmes.
Malta Chamber Foundation signs agreement with eie
In December, the Malta Chamber Foundation signed a collaboration agreement with the Institute of Education (eie), laying down the framework for collaboration and promotion of courses, specifically, the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) Diploma in Strategic Leadership and Executive Management.
This Level 7 qualification develops a comprehensive range of strategic leadership and senior management skills, assisting participants in gaining the knowledge required at this level. By completing the 13 units, participants will develop skills such as: informed decision making, analysis of personal management practice, critical thinking and research practices.
The agreement was signed by Malta Chamber Director General, Ing. Ray Muscat, on behalf of the Foundation, and Mr. Antonello Cappitta, EIE Executive Chairman. Following a call sent out last year to all members, this is the first of a series of agreements that the Malta Chamber Foundation will be signing with various educational institutions.
Members wishing to enquire further about the Malta Chamber Foundation may contact Ms Jeanelle Catania on email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Collaboration Agreement with Quality Austria
On the 10th of November, Mrs Helga Ellul, Malta Chamber Foundation Chairman and Ms Jeanelle Catania, Foundation Executive, held a number of meetings with Quality Austria in Vienna that led to the signing of a collaboration agreement aiming at providing educational courses in various areas.
Quality Austria is the market leader in the provision of accredited training courses, mainly in the area of quality management. Quality Austria is a member of the most important international quality organizations, such as IQNet, EOQ, EFQM, VDA-QMC, IATF. The organisation is represented in more than 50 countries in Central and Eastern Europe, Asia, South America, North Africa, and over the past years, the organisation has trained more than 135,000 participants during its courses, seminars and workshops.
It is envisaged that a series of train-the-trainer courses will be organised to provide prospective local certified trainers knowledge about the philosophy of Quality Austria, the training methodology that should be applied, and the appropriate use of the training materials that will be supplied by Quality Austria. This will enable the Malta Chamber Foundation to have its pool of experts that would be capable of providing Quality Austria certified courses in the selected areas.