The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry in collaboration with MCAST, organised the ‘AGORA Inclusive Futures – Transforming the Workplace’ conference with the aim of discussing the challenges and solutions in integrating disadvantaged groups, including those with socio-economic and migration backgrounds, disabilities, learning difficulties, and low skills into the workforce.
In his opening remarks, Chris Vassallo Cesareo, The Malta Chamber President, noted that the workplace is undergoing a transformation. “It is evolving from a mere space for economic transactions to a vibrant community where diversity, inclusivity, and equal opportunities are not just encouraged but celebrated. The Malta Chamber has been at the forefront of advocating for practices that recognise and embrace the varied tapestry of our workforce,” he said.
In his speech on MCAST’s role in preparing disadvantaged groups for the work environment, Dr John Bartolo, Director for Support Services at MCAST emphasised that educators and employers need to create and support systems that leave no one behind.
Since this event was organised as part of the GIVE Project, Duncan Vella, Deputy Director Curriculum – Key skills and Centre for Learning & Employability at MCAST, explained how with the right attitudes, the GIVE Project will have an impact at local and European level to support students from vulnerable groups achieve social inclusion and transition into meaningful employment.
During a panel discussion moderated by Diana Miceli, Projects Manager at The Malta Chamber, an array of business leaders and industry experts shared their experiences and knowledge on current best practices in creating inclusive workplaces. The panel was made up of:
• Olivia Farrugia, Head of Jobseekers Division, Jobsplus
• Joseph Zammit, Deputy Director – Inclusive Education, MCAST
• Daniel Schembri, Executive Director, ThinkTalent
• Danica Ann Attard, HR Business Partner, Toly Products
• Esmeralda Micallef Zarafa, Chief Executive Officer, Lino Spiteri Foundation
This conference was organised as part of the ‘Governance for Inclusive Vocation Excellence’ (GIVE) Project, co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, 621199-EPP-1-2021-1-IT-EPPKA3-VET-COVE. The main aim of the GIVE Project is to contribute to the innovation in the VET sector for the social inclusion of individuals belonging to disadvantaged groups, with particular reference to learners with a migration background, disabilities, low skills, a drop-out history, special educational needs, and socio-economic disadvantages.