OVERVIEW

The aim of career guidance in Malta is that of providing services and activities aimed at assisting individuals of any age and at any point throughout their lives to make educational, training and occupational choices and to manage their careers.  The main providers of career guidance are situated within the state educational institutions and the public employment service.  Their role is complimentary, such that educational institutions support students in their course/career choice whilst they are in education.  The Public Employment Service caters for the needs of those already in employment, the unemployed, young people who are "Not in Education, Employment, or Training" (NEETs), and adults. 

Career guidance is provided throughout the scholastic years to students of all ages within the schools themselves.  Institutions offer career guidance to students in an individual and/or group setting.  The main aim is that of empowering students to make the right career choices and to develop the necessary skills to prepare them for the world of work. Jobsplus, Malta’s Public Employment Service, provides specialised services for adults. 

 POLICY

The Career Guidance Policy for Schools (2007) is the major career guidance framework for policy development in the field in Malta. It led to the formal division of career guidance from personal counselling within the public educational sector, hence the provision of two separate services to students. This policy ensured that all students within compulsory schooling have access to career guidance by specialised career guidance practitioners - a new infrastructure of career guidance practitioners, besides the existing guidance teachers, who provide their services (on a full-time basis) to students in both primary and secondary schooling. Since August 2017 this service has been extended to a number of post- secondary institutions.  

The policy also led to an increased focus on the topic of careers within the Personal Social Development programme within schools, a subject that was eventually renamed Personal, Social and Career Development (PSCD).  This change ensured access to career education for all young people in compulsory schooling including young people at risk of early school leaving and students with disabilities.

There is no formal setup of a National Guidance Forum, however opportunities for collaboration between stakeholders involved in the delivery of lifelong guidance exist. The aim of such collaboration is to enhance the development of a lifelong guidance system and the collaboration between public and private guidance stakeholders, to support the professionalization of the career guidance practitioners and to promote successful career guidance practices.  Collaboration exists between representatives from:

  • Euroguidance Malta
  • The National Schools Support Services (NSSS), Directorate for Educational Services, Ministry for Education and Employment (MEDE)
  • The Directorate for Curriculum, Lifelong Learning and Employability
  • Policy Unit within the Directorate for Educational Services
  • The National Skills Council, MEDE
  • Representative bodies of workers and employers
  • Jobsplus (formerly known as Employment and Training Corporation),
  • Post-Secondary Educational Institutions
  • The University of Malta
  • European Union Programmes Agency
  • National Commission for Further and Higher Education
  • The Malta Career Guidance Association (MCGA)
  • Non-Governmental Organisations involved in the delivery of career guidance,
  • Employers/employer representatives

SERVICES AND PRACTICE

The National School Support Services employs a number of career guidance professionals who provide their services within State Colleges in both primary and secondary schools which include: 

  • Guidance Teachers who carry out personal and career guidance interventions, apart from their teaching load.
  • Career advisors who work full time on career guidance. The latter generally hold an MQF Level 6 qualification in a social science related subject including but not limited to Sociology, Social Studies, Psychology and Social Policy amongst others. A level 7 qualification in Lifelong Career Guidance, Human Resources and related areas provides opportunities for advancement in the area
  • Career Guidance Teachers who are based at NSSS and assist on a national level with the provision of placements for the Career Exposure initiative (an initiative whereby Year 10 students spend five days shadowing a career of their preference at a place of work) and organise orientation visits to places of work for Year 9 students.

 Career Advisors are responsible for the coordination of career guidance within individual colleges which includes organising one-week career orientation experiences at the places of work, career orientation visits, talks by employers, careers fairs, visits and talks by post-secondary institution representatives.  Their work is complemented by that of guidance teachers. Quality standards at College level are monitored by the Education Officers (Career Guidance). Church and Independent Schools and Post-Secondary Institutions also provide career guidance to their students.

 Jobsplus, Malta’ Public Employment Service, provides specialised services for adults. An employment advisor is required to be in possession of a MQF Level 6 in a social science related subject including but not limited to Lifelong Career Guidance, Human Resources, Sociology, Social Studies, Psychology, Geography, Management and Social Work amongst others. Newly recruited Employment Advisors are then required to undergo an extensive induction programme. Jobsplus also carries out continuous quality checks on both the profiling and guidance given to jobseekers by all of its advisors. For new recruits, these quality checks are intensified. Jobsplus Malta aims at enhancing "accessibility to the labour market through modernised and targeted services, whilst facilitating labour mobility and promoting investment in human capital." Jobsplus, through employment advisors, offers job placements as well as career guidance to adults.

 A number of private employment agencies are also present, focusing mainly on job placements.

 TRAINING

The main providers for the training of career guidance practitioners in Malta is the Centre for Labour Studies in collaboration with the Faculty of Education, University of Malta. As from October 2016 a Master’s Degree Course in Lifelong Career Guidance and Development is being offered to individuals wishing to further their education in the area.

The National School Support Services organises training in collaboration with national entities in the areas of hospitality/tourism, health, education, ICT, science and health care, engineering and transport amongst others.  Career advisors and guidance teachers within the state education sector are required to attend continuous professional development training during each scholastic year.  The Institute for Education also organises an MQF Level 7 Qualification entitled Award in an Understanding of Career Guidance and Development’ for practitioners who are entering the field or for those who want to enhance their skills in the area. This latter initiative is financed by EG Malta.

The Malta Career Guidance Association (MCGA) also organises training events for its members on a yearly basis.  Each year, in collaboration with Euroguidance Centre Malta, it organises the Euroguidance National Conference besides other training events.  All career guidance practitioners within the education and employment sectors are invited to attend.  MCGA is working towards the professionalisation of its members.  The role of Euroguidance Malta is of utmost importance in strengthening the competences of guidance practitioners through the funding and organisation of continuous professional development initiatives within the education and employment sectors.

The competences required by employment advisors at Jobsplus has changed over the years with developments in ICT, as well as the need to adapt to the needs of specific groups such as migrants and refugees, long-term unemployed and people with disability. It is in this regard that Jobsplus supports regular training for employment advisors to ensure that these individuals are knowledgeable and sufficiently confident in working with different groups of people, to deal with a range of challenges and constant changes occurring.

 RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

Gathering evidence about the career guidance activities and developing monitoring studies is a shared responsibility between the following stakeholders:

  • National Statistics Office (research about Labour market and Education)
  • Ministry of Education and Employment (the ‘Tracer Study’ which portrays post-secondary choices made by Year 11 students after finishing compulsory schooling, monitoring studies about the situation of the ESL and other statistics about education)
  • Jobsplus (statistics about the Employment sectors)
  • National Commission for Further and Higher Education (statistics about further and higher education)
  • University of Malta (Graduate tracer studies)
  • National entities representing employment sectors (statistics about the tourism, health, engineering, education, ICT sectors amongst others)

ETHICS

The Malta Career Guidance Association (MCGA) is the national guidance association in Malta which aims to promote the delivery of high quality career guidance services. It is working on the local level in strengthening the career guidance service, in setting up standards for professional practice and in developing its ethical guidelines for correct professional conduct among guidance practitioners working in the education and employment sectors. Each guidance practitioner is knowledgeable of the fact that he/she is bound by respective work ethics in line with the Respect for All Framework (2014)

Guidance teachers who are also teachers are also expected to abide by the teachers’ code of ethics. Ethical issues are an integral part of guidance practitioners’ training, too.

 QUALITY CONTROL

Within the compulsory education state sector Education Officers are responsible for monitoring the career guidance service within the State Colleges. Currently there are two education officers who conduct this work.  Education Officers regularly meet with career advisors and trainees to evaluate and gather feedback about career guidance initiatives.  The latter are also requested to send a yearly report outlining the career guidance interventions undertaken in an individual and group setting in the colleges.  Jobsplus also carries out continuous quality checks on both the profiling and guidance given to jobseekers by all of its advisors. For new recruits, these quality checks are intensified.

 Last update by ©Euroguidance Malta (May 2018)