Chris Vassallo Cesareo

The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry President Chris Vassallo Cesareo has stated that workplaces are undergoing an overhaul that gives them greater purpose than just being spaces to do business.

He was speaking during his opening address for “AGORA Inclusive Futures – Transforming the Workplace”, a conference held by The Malta Chamber in collaboration with The Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) on Wednesday. The event aimed to discuss the challenges and solutions in integrating disadvantaged groups, including those with socioeconomic and migration backgrounds, disabilities, learning difficulties, and low skills into the workforce.

Mr Vassallo Cesareo stressed that the workplace is currently undergoing a widespread “transformation”.

“It is evolving from a mere space for economic transactions to a vibrant community where diversity, inclusivity, and equal opportunities are not just encouraged but celebrated,” he added.

John Bartolo
MCAST Director for Support Services John Bartolo

“The Malta Chamber has been at the forefront of advocating for practices that recognise and embrace the varied tapestry of our workforce,” he continued.

John Bartolo, MCAST Director for Support Services, described the educational institution’s role in preparing disadvantaged groups for the work environment.

Dr Bartolo emphasised that educators and employers need to “create and support systems that leave no one behind”.

Duncan Vella
Deputy Director Curriculum of MCAST’s Key Skills and Centre for Learning and Employability Duncan Vella

The conference was organised as part of the GIVE Project, a programme by The Malta Chamber to encourage further inclusion of individuals belonging to disadvantaged groups, particularly those with migration backgrounds, disabilities, low skills, a drop-out history, educational special needs, foster children, social and economical disadvantages, as well as disruptive behaviour.

Duncan Vella, Deputy Director Curriculum of MCAST’s Key Skills and Centre for Learning and Employability explained how with the right attitudes, the GIVE Project will have an impact at “local and European level” to support students from vulnerable groups achieve social inclusion and transition into meaningful employment.

The conference also included a panel discussion moderated by The Malta Chamber Projects Manager Diana Micelli, where a wide array of business leaders and industry experts shared their experiences and knowledge on current best practices in creating inclusive workplaces. This panel included Jobsplus Head of Jobseekers Division Olivia Farrugia, MCAST Deputy Director of Inclusive Education Joseph Zammit, ThinkTalent Executive Director Daniel Schembri, Toly Products HR Business Partner Danica Ann Attard, and Lino Spiteri Foundation CEO Esmeralda Micallef Zarafa.

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