The Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) and the Foundation of Social Welfare Standards (FSWS) have agreed to strengthen their collaboration to improve the wellbeing of young people at high risk of social exclusion.

The collaboration envisaged is aimed at facilitating the assistance and guidance provided to young people aged between 16 and 25 in the projects Opportunity Knocks (OK), Embark for Life (E4L), Adolescent Day Programme (ADP) and other similar initiatives and services undertaken by FSWS to access MCAST educational and professional programmes, thus ensuring their inclusion and possibility to succeed in life.

MCAST will integrate the participants in these projects in its full-time and part-time courses while the FSWS will maintain its commitment to follow up and ensure full compliance with the college’s procedures and requirements.

Ensuring their inclusion and possibility to succeed in life

The agreement was enshrined in a memorandum of understanding recently signed at the college in Paola.

MCAST principal and CEO James Calleja welcomed the partnership with FSWS. Calleja outlined the college’s strategic direction and the centrality of broadening the local partner network with key stakeholders.

He also referred to the continued efforts to reinforce the image of and build the esteem of vocational education and training, even by bringing to the forefront the achievements and success stories of its alumni.

He said the college was working to make more visible the alternative learning pedagogies that it is adopting and the resources and the progression routes that it makes available to all students. 

FSWS CEO Alfred Grixti stressed the need for networking specifically focused upon the myriad of requirements of vulnerable young people to succeed in life.

He said that while providing education and training was pivotal for these young people, other basic needs and services were also required.

Grixti mentioned the various services the foundation offers to ensure that a holistic approach supports young people at risk of social exclusion to integrate fully. He added that major stakeholders needed to closely collaborate and support each other’s initiatives in line with government policies and direction. This would ensure networking and operational complementarity that would make it more probable that collective targets would be reached.

The FSWS’s remit is to provide social welfare services, in particular in relation to alcohol and substance abuse and in relation to other social welfare problems prevalent in the country, especially those related to family welfare; to further and promote social and related studies and scholarship, through research, publications and education; to collaborate with other similar entities, especially, though not exclusively, on a regional and international basis.

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