15th July is World Youth Skills Day, which is observed by the United Nations to keep youth unemployment on the international agenda. The UN calls upon member states to help youths overcome challenges with regard to employment and skills development. Disadvantaged young people face even more challenges in this respect.
It is in line with this international commitment that today The President’s Trust and the Malta Federation of Organisations Persons with Disability (MFOPD), jointly and in coordination with the Malta Association of Supported Employment (MASE), have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on The President’s Trust Employment Initiative, which was one of the very first initiatives taken up and developed to support young vulnerable people to enter the world of work. This initiative is now being consolidated through this memorandum of understanding. Through this collaboration with MFOPD and MASE, we will be able to reach more young people coming from a wide array of vulnerable situations.
While MFOPD is the national umbrella organisation for the disability sector, it worked incessantly to establish MASE with the intention of having a professional supported employment structure in Malta. MASE has a vast wealth of knowledge and experience in supported employment and this will enrich The President’s Trust Employment Initiative.
Supported employment has been shown to be an effective way for disadvantaged young persons to find and retain a job in the open market. It supports both employees, as it focuses on their abilities, and employers.
The President’s Trust mentoring system for young people who lack a positive role model and/or who may benefit from one-to-one mentorship remains an important component of this initiative. Through this joint collaboration, job-coaching and skills-building may also be provided to young people who may require on-the job training and guidance. All this is determined through an initial assessment and through one-to-one relationship building with the young person and his/her family if required.
Both parties to this memorandum of understanding believe that every young person has potential, and that if supported in the right manner, they can flourish and be an asset to society. It is this principle that brought the parties together, believing that this close synergy can provide sustainable opportunities for young people.