Education is the route to advance in life, allowing us to reach our full potential. A good education helps people climb the social ladder but also enhances society by providing a skilled and adaptable workforce.

All stakeholders will be consulted as we shape the investments for the coming years with a clear mission to utilise European Union funds allocated to Malta in an effective and timely manner. A fairer society and a competent workforce is our vision and EU funds will continue to play an important role to attain it.

The future is digital and the industry will increasingly depend on workers’ digital competence.

Over €25 million in EU funds have financed the ‘One Tablet per Child’ project, which, up to now, introduced 12,000 primary students to a new interactive learning experience, setting them on a growth path in digital abilities. Not to mention scholarships and grants that enabled hundreds of Maltese students to obtain academic excellence locally and abroad. 

My brand of politics is one that strives for equality in opportunity.  That is precisely what we are achieving with the right investment of European funds to address early school leavers among Maltese teenagers, a phenomenon that had long been present in our society. Short of alternatives, so much talent was lost along the years.

Facilitated by European funds, over 70 laboratories across 13 state schools ensure every college may teach vocational subjects. VET labs offer alternative pathways to students with opportunities to train in engineering, IT, hospitality, health and social care, media literacy and agribusiness,  among others. This is providing youths with more opportunities to success and stability. 

A good education helps people climb the social ladder- Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi

This effort, coupled with the successful implementation of the Youth Guarantee, significantly reduced youth unemployment. Youths are provided with the necessary tools either to learn or to earn, delivering on our electoral pledge.

It’s not hard to imagine how despondent young people must feel when they are sidelined before they can even get started in life. This is the situation for millions in neighbouring states. In contrast, we should be proud of what Malta has achieved in helping its young people. No fewer than 3,400 individuals were supported by the project with a perfect gender-distribution.

Through NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) scheme, also part of the Youth Guarantee, teenagers and young adults are supported in their psychosocial needs as much as they are supported to learn in accredited courses.

They are trained for job interviews and provided with continuous professional support.

The well-being of our islands rests both on everyone’s ability to grow but also on our ability to prepare for the future. With this in mind, €50 million in European funds are being invested in the university’s facilities and resources, enabling it to upgrade the country’s research efforts with access to new technology, expand its facilities and enhance the quality of teaching and results.

The aim is to enhance Malta’s research and development capacity and provide a tangible push towards the country’s targets in this essential area, which is strongly linked to our economic development. Our ideal for the country to remain a centre of excellence remains intact. This allocation strengthens our belief that we are able not only follow others but lead in the solutions for the biggest challenges of our times.

These are a few initiatives financed with EU funds. What is clear from all these initiatives is that education is not a stand-alone category. It is intertwined with the economy, technology and green ideals.

Our environment, our economy, the quality of our industry, the services we offer, the abilities of our workforce and its readiness for changes that are yet to come and, in general, our holistic well-being as a society, have only to gain from a strong allocation of European funds in the field of education.

Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi, parliamentary secretary for European funds.

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