"Great work, great commitment and much greater dedication, this is the essence of our education," Minister for Education Justyne Caruana said, in the culmination of a ceremony during which the Malta VET Awards were given for the first time, with the Ministry for Education rewarding individuals or companies that have excelled in vocational or applied teaching or training.
Every year, the European Commission and member states organise a week of events to celebrate and give visibility to initiatives and skills that are developed through the great efforts that each country makes on vocational education. Malta has joined other member states in strengthening the commitment and support of all those working in this sector, including students, teachers, lecturers, partners in the industry, as well as administrators.
Minister Caruana emphasised that this ceremony values human resources. She said that we need to find a way to bring out every individual's skills, but we also need to orient them according to their personal skills, as well as the economic needs of our country. “Education is a journey, and here we are talking about 'My Journey', which we are very proud of, and which has an element of vocational training. Through education, we want to bring out all the different elements and skills of the students. Not only that, but it is also a journey that brings together the student, the educator, as well as the employment sector, and this is what today's ceremony is all about," continued Minister Caruana.
Last year, in October, the Ministry of Education launched a program of initiatives to celebrate the vocational sector. The program included a public information campaign on vocational subjects and the careers they lead to, as well as a series of awards for the Vocational Learning and Training sector – the Malta VET Awards.
In this way, the government is broadening the knowledge and visibility of learning in a practical way, through which many young people and adults improve our economy's much needed skills.
The awards' selection process was open to the public, and this led to colleagues preparing, writing and submitting nominations for consideration by the selection boards.
The three winners are:
VET/Applied Student Award – An award intended to identify a student who excels in their vocational studies: Liam Jake Vella, St Catherine's High School, Pembroke
VET/Applied Lecturer/Teacher/Trainer Award – An award intended to identify a teacher/lecturer/trainer who excels in enhancing the VET learning experience or has contributed to creating innovation in the way vocational or applied subjects are taught, particularly during the pandemic period we experienced last year: Claire Lauri, Immaculate Conception School, Tarxien
Training at Work Award - An award intended to value good professional and practical on-the-job learning practices addressed to relevant workers, thus enhancing lifelong learning: Simonds Farsons Cisk
The three selection boards received 14 nominations in the category of teachers and lecturers, 13 nominations in the category of students, and 3 nominations in the category of on-the-job teaching. Minister Caruana congratulated the winners and thanked all those involved with appreciation for their commitment. She concluded by saying that she had no doubt that this commitment is ongoing, regardless of the awards given.