The Manufacturing Economic Group within the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry, and the Ministry for Education and Employment launched the 'GO4Industry Teacher Internship Programme' pilot project on 26th June.
The first edition of the 'GO4Industry Teacher Internship Programme' is aimed at exposing teachers of science subjects in secondary schools, to the opportunities and the cutting-edge technologies in Malta's manufacturing industry, in order for them to be more knowledgeable and better positioned to guide their students towards their future careers.
Welcoming guests to the Chamber, President Mr Frank V. Farrugia said that currently, and for the foreseeable future, the main issues faced by businesses were related to the shortages of labour. “Most companies have vacancies and opportunities they are unable to fill and this translates into lost business and lost economic growth for the country as a whole” he said.
The President explained how the 'GO4Industry Teacher Internship Programme' looks at the long-term solutions to address these issues. “We are here today as a result of our forward-looking approach to achieve a sustainable environment where the labour market adequately serves the economy and its needs – and Malta’s teachers are the most effective channel through which we can achieve this goal.”
Taking the podium, Mr Patrick Cachia Chairman of the Manufacturing Economic Group Executive Board said that the 'GO4Industry Teacher Internship Programme' was one of a number of ongoing projects with the aim to increase exposure to the many interesting career opportunities that exist in industry.
“My colleagues and I are convinced that a majority of people have certain unfavourable perceptions about the sector we operate in. Therefore, we felt that by exposing teachers to work experience in industry, they will carry their experiences to the classroom and pass on their exposure and knowledge of the practices and technology being applied in industry, together with the resulting career opportunities.”
“We are certain that moving forward, all the parties involved will strive to make a success of this year’s pilot project and this success will contribute to an even more notable take up in the coming years” he said.
Ministry of Education and Employment Permanent Secretary Dr Francis Fabri, said that this project bridges the gap that exists between the world of education and that of employment. He said that educators know education well but may not necessarily be sufficiently aware of the realities of the economy at present. “Therefore the ‘GO4Industry Teacher Internship Programme’ allows teachers to walk the talk and take a leading role in the crucial process of exposing students to the realities of industry” he said.
Dr Fabri elaborated on other projects the Ministry was carrying out, namely outcome-based approach syllabi, on-going teachers training and further expansion of vocational subjects in all secondary schools.
Ministry of Education and Employment Director General Mr Stephen Cachia praised teachers for being ready to go beyond their call of duty. He said that today’s project was clear evidence of this.
Mr Cachia also noted that the 'GO4Industry Teacher Internship Programme', was a great opportunity for educators to better understand the way businesses think. He said that the Malta Chamber and its members were renowned to think outside the box in order to address challenges. This project was also one such instance.
The 'GO4Industry Teacher Internship Programme' is the result of a voluntary collaboration between leading companies in Malta's industry and sciences teachers in secondary schools.