Charlene FenechCharlene Fenech

Charlene Fenech, an Mcast graduate who is an aircraft engineer with Lufthansa Technik, has been selected as Malta’s ambassador for the 2017 European Vocational Skills Week (November 20-24). Organised by the European Commission, the week will involve hundreds of events across the EU to highlight the benefits vocational education and training (VET) brings to people of all ages.

‘Discover your Talent!’ is the motto of the campaign. Ms Fenech aims to show that VET and apprenticeships are a smart choice, leading to high-quality jobs and increased employability. She is one of a group of ambassadors from various EU Member States who have volunteered to spread the word about VET in their home countries. She was selected for the prestigious role by the Commission and the national authorities in Malta due to her inspiring profile.

She said: “I am looking forward to sharing my personal experience in the hope of encouraging others to get involved in VET. Every single person, regardless of age or background, has talent, and vocational education and training can provide them with the practical skills, knowledge and competences needed to succeed in the job market and in society at large.”

Marianne Thyssen, the European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, said: “Making vocational education and training a first option – not a second choice – is at the heart of the European Vocational Skills Week.”

Jyrki Katainen, the Commission’s Vice President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, echoed this, adding: “The most competitive countries in the EU, and in the world, are those that invest most in skills.”

This year’s week is expected to attract an even bigger turnout. The total reach of the campaign hashtags, #EUVocationalSkills and #DiscoverYourTalent, last year was over 10.5 million people.

One may follow Charlene Fenech’s official European Vocational Skills Week Twitter channel: @VETAmb_MT

Twitter: #EUVocationalSkills #DiscoverYourTalent

VET statistics: Malta

13.3 per cent of upper secondary students in Malta participate in upper secondary VET, according to latest available figures.

The employment rate of recent VET graduates in the country is 95 per cent, according to latest available figures.

The percentage of low-qualified adults is 52.4 per cent, according to latest available figures.

Adult (25-64) participation in lifelong learning is seven per cent in Malta, according to latest available figures.

Source: Vocational Education and Training Statistics, Eurostat (2016)

VET statistics: Europe

VET programmes boost your job prospects: in the EU recent vocational graduates who are no longer in education or training have an employment rate of 73 per cent on average.

Over 30 million adults received education or training during 2016 in the 28 Member States (Eurostat, Lifelong learning statistics).

One in four adults in Europe is caught in a low-skills trap, unable to find employment or progress in their career.

VET represents a way out and brings multiple benefits for both the employers and the individuals (OECD and EC, The Survey of Adult Skills PIAAC 2016).

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