Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 September, 2023 at 11:40 pm by Andre Camilleri
The government is allocating €10 million worth of European funds to bolster the “Investing in Skills” scheme with the aim of better supporting the private sector and NGOs.
These funds – which form part of the EU’s long-term budget (2021-2027) – will help companies invest in their human resources, specifically by financing the training of workers.
The ‘Investing in Skills’ scheme was originally launched five years ago in 2017 with a total budget of €7.45 million. Since then, it has supported 37,600 employees deriving from 1,142 enterprises and entities; 87% of these beneficiary groups were SMEs, the government said.
Applications for the last phase of this scheme – which closed on 31 March 2023 – are currently being implemented. According to the Parliamentary Secretariat for European Funds, 3,962 grants shall come out from these applications before the end of this calendar year.
The Government has iterated that the need for worker training remains crucial, in spite of the assistance provided over recent years. Henceforth, the government is aiming to foster more quality careers by strengthening its commitment towards the ambitions of the National Employment Policy.
Chris Bonett, the Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds, discussed the Government’s perceived importance towards education within the workforce. Bonett stated that through the education provided by training, employees can hone their skills to continue improving upon the country’s successes within the field of work.
“With the allocation of €10 million of additional funding from the new EU funding programme, we will ensure that Maltese and Gozitan workers shall continue succeeding in operating enterprises within different sectors – from manufacturing to services”, Bonett said. He then continued that through this direction, economic growth will be benefitted by everyone.
These added funds will also better aid private entities, the government said, elaborating that this financing could grant them new opportunities within their respective industries, thus sustaining their competitiveness.
The ‘Investing in Skills’ scheme functions by refunding companies with the costs incurred through the training of workers, even covering for travelling costs where applicable. The annual rates of this scheme are reviewed annually to account for inflation.