Employers Need To Be Actively Engaged In Shaping The Vision For Education

Employers can help educators to anticipate the future needs

Make learning and development a central part of long-term planning and strategy, President of The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry Marisa Xuereb said during an education conference titled ‘Jumpstart Learning’. She emphasised that the upskilling and reskilling of the workforce are imperative for every business that wants to remain competitive. President Xuereb noted that, “employers need to be actively engaged in shaping the vision for education, not just as the future employers of today’s students. They must also act as life-long education providers of today’s workers and future workers who are still in formal schooling.”

During this conference attended by both educators and employers, Ms Xuereb also reiterated that there needs to be more coordinated action and more systematic public-private partnerships when it comes to training and education. In the past few months, The Malta Chamber embarked on a number of collaborations with both MCAST and the University of Malta, whilst trying to bridge the different ambitions and expectations between academic institutions, who excel in providing qualifications, and employers who desperately seek to develop competencies.

President Xuereb reminded the audience that while employers do not have a crystal ball, they are in a better place than educators to anticipate the future needs of their industry. “To this end, it is important for educators to acknowledge that what is required from their end is to provide students with the skills that are required in the immediate plus the ability to learn over time what may be required in future,” she said. President Xuereb concluded her speech by addressing the needs of the students. “What they really need is the ability to read (or hear) and understand the knowledge they can access, the crucial ability to reason what makes sense and what is to be ignored, and the ability to synthesize that knowledge in a way that they can retain it, apply it and transfer it to others. Educators need to acknowledge that learning needs to be predominantly skills-based rather than knowledge-based because it no longer about being able to memorize a lot of information.”

During this conference, the importance of soft skills was also highlighted, as well as the acknowledgment of neurodiversity, and the need for different learning channels that ensure that learning is accessible to all.

Professor Colin Calleja, Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of Malta, echoed this position and said that the educational system needs to have a better understanding of its strengths and weaknesses. Prof Calleja said that although the country invests a lot in education, our students still score low when they are compared to their European counterparts. He emphasised that, “ we can’t keep wasting time because each minster wants to leave their personal mark.”

Another keynote speaker in this conference was Mr Märt Aro, Co-Founder of DreamApply and the Nordic EdTech Forum – N8. Mr Aro stressed that all European countries need to prepare for automation and Web 3.0. He said that both interphases are being ignored by schools and instead the focus is on teaching things that are quickly becoming irrelevant. He explained that the problem is that children are taught not to question what they are learning, but than they are then expected to reach the workplace with cognitive skills and decision making power. He encouraged educators to adopt adaptive digital learning environments and to overcome the barriers that our existing education system has built over time.

Ms Fabienne Ruggier, Chairperson of HR and Talent Committee within The Malta Chamber also gave a presentation during this event. She touched upon the problem of restricted data in a policy area that should be data-driven and informed. She presented a pilot experiment that was carried out over a period of three months in the area of Labour Market Intelligence which proved that 80% of the advertised skills were technical, followed by marketing and compliance, with soft skills being still underrepresented or very vaguely presented.

Dr Erika Galea, Education Consultant, spoke about the potential of Educational NeuroScience and how it places the student at the centre of the educational system and maximises teaching and learning by promoting the deeper learning skills. She explained that with the understanding of the underlying biology of our mental processes, educators can have a direct role in identifying improvements in our local existing educational practice.

Mr Emile Vassallo, Director General of the Department for Educational Services, reacted to the various presentations. Mr Vassallo acknowledged that this event served its purpose by giving stakeholders the right platform to discuss the future of learning and confirmed the interest of the education department to work closer with The Malta Chamber to bring about the required change.

Finally, Dr Marthese Portelli, CEO of The Malta Chamber highlighted the importance of this event as it brought both academia and business together to discuss a way forward. Dr Portelli said, “The Malta Chamber has the proper structure in place to pave the way forward and design a strategy focusing on short, medium and long term goals. She referenced the Education for the Future Policy Document launched in June 2021 wherein The Malta Chamber had highlighted the importance of lifelong learning, having period curriculum reviews, developing and empowering educators, and introducing Social Emotional Learning and Service Learning for both students and teachers.

Discussions With The Business Community On The Government’s Plan For An Efficient Public Transport System And Traffic Mitigation

Traffic mitigation is an issue that The Malta Chamber has been working on proactively through a number of proposals that were put forward for Government’s consideration

The Transport Ministry met with The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry together with a number of representatives from the commercial community as part of a series of stakeholder meetings on the topic of public transport and navigating the ‘peak hour’.

The discussion centred around the Government’s plan to address traffic challenges in our country and the ways that public transport can become more efficient and a realistic alternative.
Minister Aaron Farrugia explained that these meetings, titled ‘Deċiżjoni b’direzzjoni: djalogu dwar trasport u mobilità’, led by consultant and academic Prof. Gordon Sammut, are expected to bear fruit as they are involving all stakeholders.

“The Ministry and its experts are looking beyond partisan discussions and working to ensure that stakeholders are protagonists in the reasoning, planning, and form part of the solutions to these much-needed changes,” Minister Farrugia said.

During this meeting President Marisa Xuereb together with Dr Marthese Portelli, CEO of The Malta Chamber, put forward a number of proposals for the Government’s consideration, amongst which the introduction of an e-mobility wallet concept which would help bring about a modal shift from private cars to shared mobility through the introduction of parking fees which would be credited back to one’s e-mobility wallet to be used on shared mobility, mass transport, bikes, ferries and other modes of transport which help to decongest roads.

The Malta Chamber said that “traffic mitigation is an issue that we have been working on proactively through a number of proposals that we put forward for Government’s consideration, after listening to our members’ concerns.”


The Malta Chamber 2023 AGM will be held on Tuesday, 28th March 2023 at 4.30 p.m.

The Annual General Meeting of the members of The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry will take place on Tuesday, 28th March 2023 at 4.30 p.m. The meeting will be held at The Malta Chamber, Exchange Buildings, Republic Street, Valletta. It will be possible for members to participate online. Places at The Malta Chamber are limited, members are therefore asked to inform Johanna Calleja on johanna.calleja@maltachamber.org.mt if they wish to participate in the meeting physically.

The formal agenda will be issued in due course, in the meantime members are asked to confirm their attendance on this link.


The Elections of the Executive Boards of Economic Groups and Council of the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry will be held according to the schedule below.

Candidates wishing to run for election to the Executive Board of Economic Groups and Council are asked to submit their nomination by not later than Tuesday, 7th March 2023 at 12 noon. Nomination papers for candidates for election to the Executive Boards of Economic Groups and Council may be obtained from the undersigned. Each candidate must be proposed and seconded by members of the Economic Group in which the candidate is a member. The nomination paper should be accompanied by information about the candidate. This information should not exceed 100 words and will be circulated to all members with the list of candidates.

Voting by Secret Ballot for the election of:

6 Members to form the Executive Board of the Importers, Distributors and Retailers Economic Group
6 Members to form the Executive Board of the Manufacturers and Other Industries Economic Group and
6 Members to form the Executive Board of the Services Providers Economic Group

Physical voting will take place at the Exchange Buildings, Valletta, on: Tuesday, 28th March 2023 – Immediately after the AGM up to 7.30 p.m. (or as directed by the Electoral Commission).

Electronic voting will open on Tuesday, 28th March 2023 at 7.30 pm and will remain open until Thursday, 30th March at 4 pm.

The eighteen persons elected will form the Council of the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry for the period March 2023 to March 2025.

It should be noted that only fully paid-up members of The Malta Chamber are eligible to be nominated for elections and to vote in these elections (rules 6.3 and 6.4 of the Statute).

Importers, Distributors and Retailers Economic Group

Manufacturers and Other Industries Economic Group

Services Providers Economic Group