News

MDA insists its Budget proposals as agreed before general election

Saturday, September 16th, 2017

The Malta Developers Association presented a substantial document with concrete proposals for Budget 2018, some of which can be implemented immediately.

MDA President Sandro Chetcuti, who headed a delegation of Council members, augured that the Prime Minister and his Government would continue to achieve further progress and success in its endeavours to take the country to the next level. He praised Government’s initiatives that have truly brought the best of times in terms of employment and a booming economy.

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Both PN leadership contenders request meeting with MDA

Sunday, September 10th, 2017

The two Nationalist Party leadership contenders, Dr Adrian Delia and Dr Chris Said, held separate meetings with the Malta Developers Association Council. The meetings, held at the request of the two candidates, turned out to be two long, fruitful discussions.

Both Dr Delia and Dr Said acknowledged the good work of the MDA and its highly valid contribution to the country.

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MDA Academy

MDA Academy launched

The Malta Developers Association has launched the MDA Academy aimed at providing members with a focused learning institution that offers a range of courses relevant to the construction industry.

The MDA Academy’s first initiative is to team up with professional health and safety consultant to start offering an eight-hour basic health and safety training, plus a one-hour assessment, leading to obtaining a Skill Card in the Construction and Civil Engineering Industry.

MDA Skill Card training_Gozo_Mar17

Skill Cards launched for the Construction and Civil Engineering Industry

Malta Developers Association President Sandro Chetcuti was one of the speakers at the launch of Skill Cards for the Construction and Civil Engineering Industry, earlier this week.

This is the first project of this nature in the country that is being led by the Building Industry Consultative Council, together with a several entities, among them the NCHFE, MCAST, the OHSA, the ETC, the BRO and the Department of Local Government.

The Skill Card system aims to raise standards in the construction industry and improve health and safety practices, while also giving the necessary recognition to the skills and capabilities of qualified workers.

In the course of this year, Skill Cards will be awarded to painters and plasterers, tile layers, assistant electricians and plumbers. Others who already hold a certificate of competence in other trades can also apply. It is planned that within five years all trades and professions related to the construction sector will be covered by this card.

Minister for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties Helena Dalli explained how the project was being launched after public consultation held last October when Government had launched a White Paper on the subject.

“Thanks to this Card, we are making another step forward to having greater seriousness and discipline in the construction sector. At the same time, we are investing in human capital both on the level of training as well as through investment in the workers’ health,” Dr Dalli said, adding that the Skill Cards are giving peace of mind to the consumer that the service being received was being given by qualified people.

Minister for Education and Employment Evarist Bartolo maintained that the introduction of the Skill Cards is an important step forward since the scheme is not only acting as a certificate of competence for those with the trade but is also a living proof of a genuine effort to give due credit for the work of those in construction.

BICC Chairman Perit Charles Buhagiar explained that a certificate of competence issued by a recognised educational institution, as well as a certificate of attendance for a health and safety course at the place of works needs to be presented so that one is given a Skill Card. In instances where a person does not have a certificate issued by an educational institution, an application can be made to the ETC for a trade test to be conducted in that particular trade.

Addresses were also made by Dr Mark Gauci on behalf of the Occupational Health and Safety Authority on the authority’s contribution for the development of the course on health and safety at the workplace; Felix Borg of the Employment and Training Corporation on the way the trade testing is to be conducted on the various trades; and Michael Ferry from the BRO, the entity that will enforce the Skill Cards legislation.

Andrew Debattista of the National Commission for Higher and Further Education, the entity responsible for drawing up the competence skills for every trade at the various levels, also attended the launch.

At the start of the meeting, Nadette Azzopardi, who worked on and co-ordinated the project, made a presentation on the aims and the way the Skill Cards scheme will work, pointing out that applications can be collected from Local Councils.

MDA Skill Card training Gozo_Mar17

Who is entitled for the Skill Card?

There is a huge need for those connected to the construction and civil engineering industry to obtain a Skill Card – with over 30,000 people needing to obtain their Skill Card by 2020. The Skill Card for the Construction and Civil Engineering Industry will be available for more than 110 trades.

Professionals, including architects and engineers, skilled tradesman; labourers and plant / machinery operators involved in construction projects are required to be in possession of a Skill Card. This applies also to one-time developers and property agents.

Cards would be made available from the Building Industry Consultative Council (BICC) for various levels, including a red card for trainees and different cards according to the level of education of employees. Foreign employees with a Skill Card from their country will have to verify the validity of their cards compared to local standards, and foreigners seeking a job in the sector without their own card will also have the option to apply for the Skill Card.

About the Skill Card Training

The basic health and safety training consists of the following topics and is mandatory for anyone applying for the Skill Card;

1. Why OHS?
2. Legal obligations and also legislation in particular damage to third parties regulations
3. Developing a safe work culture – OHS Management systems
4. Principals of risk assessment
5. General hazards (non-exhaustive)
6. Most common occupational hazards / risks
7. Health and hygiene
8. Working in Confined spaces, explosive atmospheres
9. Working in a traffic environment
10. Lone Workers
11. Assessment

Visitors, Developers and property agents require the mandatory basic health and safety training in order to obtain the Skill Card which is a White Card, whilst professionals need a further accreditation from a recognised institution by NCFHE or trade test certification issued by ETC.

Schedule dates for training

MDA Academy following recognition by BICC to provide the necessary training has already shortlisted a number of qualified Occupation Health and Safety practitioners and already started delivering this programme.

Schedule for classes of up to 25 participants may be delivered in-house or at MDA’s members various training facilities.

• Full days – from 09.00 till 17.00 – 1 session
• Half days – 2 sessions in the mornings from 09.00 till 13.00 or in the afternoons from 13.00 till 17.00
• Part time – 4 sessions in the evenings – from 17.30 till 19.30

The assessment consists of risks / hazards identification, pinpointing the corrective measures and understanding safety information, such as correct use of personal protective equipment / clothing as well as signage.

A Handbook is provided to all participants during training where one can take notes and keep records for future reference during his day to day jobs.

Certificates are issued by BICC for every participant either as “successful” or “attendance” classification.

MDA Skill Card training Gozo-Mar17

Accreditation

MDA Academy is working hand in hand with BICC so that in the near future it may also provide accredited training recognised by the National Commission for Further Higher Education (NCHFE) for construction operators such as fork lift operators, lifting techniques (cranes), operating plant and heavy moveable machinery, scaffolds, health and safety representatives in construction sites, welders, fire technicians and many more.

How can one apply?

One may apply for training by sending an e-mail to training@mda.com.mt or call MDA Academy coordinator Mr. Mario Camilleri on 99454586 for further assistance.

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