GRTU has been advocating the importance of traineeships and hands-on experience to enhance labour market skills throughout education. It has been at the forefront of supporting apprenticeships and internships by encouraging its members to host such students and trainees whilst pushing forward the concept of quality training. Education needs to be supported by soft skills and practical experience to ensure a stronger labour force ready to meet the needs of business and industry.
In this spirit, GRTU has been invited to hold a press conference whereby Bachelor of Communication Studies students would be able to pose as real-life journalists and be able not only to gain first-hand experience but also have their assessment tied to practical training. The press conference formed part of the Meet the Pressmodule under the tutorship of University Lecturer and seasoned journalist Lourdes Pullicino.
GRTU President Paul Abela held the press conference at the University of Malta and covered GRTU’s flagship budget proposals and GRTU’s reaction to the Budget. Paul Abela outlined the consultative process through which the GRTU council sets its priorities and puts forward its agenda to the MCESD and to Government. He accentuated how the GRTU priorities called on the Government to address the challenges that are holding down our enterprises in terms of competitiveness. If Government really believes that enterprises are the backbone of our economy and drivers of economic growth and job creation it must address the 5 issues highlighted to enable enterprises to be competitive. These included a further reduction of energy for SMEs by 30%; improving access to finance; supporting business to conquer digital challenges; alleviating traffic pressures and parking constraints; setting up of a start-up hub.
Abela then gave an overview of GRTU’s reaction in saying that this year’s Budget offers a healthy mix of incentives targeting the private sector many of which are being implemented with the collaboration of the GRTU. He noted dissatisfaction in terms of GRTU’s request for energy cost reduction and the negative effect of excise duty introduction instead of eco-contribution tax. He mentioned a number of proposals which had been taken up such as those related to traffic and transport, access to finance and digital concerns.
The students then had the opportunity to put forward questions to Mr Abela with some students inquiring on whether GRTU was satisfied with the number of proposals being taken up and how GRTU would be pushing forward for those which had not been included in the Budget, whilst others went into the details of the proposals such as the viability of the 30% energy tariff reduction request. These students will now be following up their work through assignments and more hands-on practice. They described it as a golden opportunity to flavor their studies with real-life experience.