Builders will have to undergo mandatory training before being granted a license under new rules that will be up for public consultation in the coming days, Times of Malta understands. 

Currently anyone can apply to sit for a written and practical test to be eligible for a Mason's License as long as they pay a fee of €28. The Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology offers part time courses to prepare applicants for the exams but the course is not mandatory. 

Among the new criteria, expected to be announced as part of wider reform this week, masons must:

  • undergo "rigorous" mandatory training before receiving a license;
  • participate in training courses when their current license expires;
  • attend refresher courses as new technology and building methods develop.

Prime Minister Robert Abela announced on Twitter that cabinet had approved a new licensing regime, which will go out for public consultation. 

Planning Minister Stefan Zrinzo is set to announce the public consultation within the coming days.

Sources said that the law regulating the licensing of masons would move to the chapter regulating the Building and Construction Authority.  

Currently, laws on Mason licensing are still within Chapter 10, Code of Police Laws, which date back to the 19th Century. 

News of the reform comes days after new rules requiring construction contractors to be licensed were published, requiring all contractors to be licensed by 2025.

It also comes amid public uproar over safety issues in construction sites, culminating in a massive vigil for construction victim Jean-Paul Sofia after the building he was working on collapsed in December 2022.

Five people, Kurt Buhagiar, Matthew Schembri, Adriana Zammit, Milomir Jovicevic, and Dijana Jovicevic, have been charged with the involuntary homicide of Sofia. 

The prime minister has also announced a public inquiry into the incident following intense public pressure. 

Between 2018 and 2022, 29 workers died on construction sites, with the latest construction victim being 26-year-old Mohammed Kasem Hashem Alkhateeb dying earlier this Month. 

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