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EACEA National Policies Platform


3. Employment & Entrepreneurship

3.4 Career guidance and counselling

Last update: 20 March 2024
On this page
  1. Career guidance and counselling services
  2. Funding
  3. Quality assurance

Career guidance and counselling services

 In 2019, the Maltese Government launched the Policy on Inclusive Education in Schools: Route to Quality Inclusion in schools. The Policy is in line with the education strategy of the Ministry for Education (MFED) since it promotes an inclusive school environment that ensures that all learners have the opportunity to obtain the necessary skills and attitudes to be active citizens and succeed at work and in society. The Policy adopts a wide definition of inclusion, which covers:

  • learners with special needs;
  • learners with different sexual orientations;
  • learners from ethnic minorities and different religions;
  • high-ability learners.

The National Inclusive Education Framework, also launched in 2019, builds upon the Inclusive Education in Schools: Route to Quality Inclusion in schools; and strives to create clarity around the concept of inclusive education and synergy among the various services dealing with diversity issues in schools. Moreover, the themes entrenched within the framework ensure that the concept of equity is upheld in all College and School Development Plans (SDP).  The SDPs are supported by providing specialized training to College Principals and Heads of Schools.

The career guidance service under the remit of the National School Support Services (NSSS) within the Ministry for Education holds a number of initiatives in State colleges to entice students’ attendance and guide them on how to see the relevance of schooling with the world of work. Professionals work in a multi-disciplinary team to make schooling attractive for students and develop tailor-made programmes to reduce the risk of early school leavers. All students are encouraged to pursue further education to equip themselves better and acquire the necessary skills for the world of work.

Practitioners within the Safe Schools Program, which incorporates:

support learners attending State and non-State schools (schools in the Church and Independent sectors) to support young people at risk of becoming early school leavers. 

The National School Support Services (NSSS) offers other educational opportunities for students with a disability who have finished compulsory school, namely the Dun Manwel Attard Young Adult Resource Centre and the Helen Keller Resource Centre.

The career guidance service within the Ministry for Education contributes towards the career development and personal and social development of students, within a holistic approach.  This includes initiatives to support students’ subject/career options and transitions from primary to secondary education and secondary to post-secondary education and/or work.  Career guidance services are delivered in schools by Principal Education Support Practitioners (Career Advisors), and guidance teachers through a variety of face-to-face provisions, such as on a one-to-one basis and in small and large groups. Career guidance services are also offered at the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST), Institute of Tourism StudiesJunior CollegeHigher Secondary, and the University of Malta.

The transition co-ordinator support Year 11 students with Individual Educational Needs on the different opportunities that meet the needs of the student.  This will ensure that the best possible choice of provisions is made for each student. The transition co-ordinator helps in the transition programme from secondary mainstream to post-16 provision or from Education Resource Centres to other post-16 provisions, Adult Services or employment opportunities. The Transition co-ordinator organises orientation visits to the different provisions and prepare profiles and action plans for each student’s transition programme.

The career guidance platform provides all the information needed, such as careers within specific sectors, through videos, a quiz/personality test that determines one’s career aptitudes, and a description of several post-secondary courses and the respective entry requirements for students to decide which career path they will choose.

Other services include:

  • Talks by employers, career orientation visits and one-week career exposure experiences for students at the place of work.  
  • I Choose Fair is a public event where all post-secondary educational institutions and entities are represented under one roof. It aims to help students overcome difficulties and doubts about their future career paths.
  • Euroguidance Malta organises continuous professional development opportunities for career guidance practitioners within the education and employment sectors, ensuring that practitioners are better equipped to guide students or adults accordingly. This falls under the remit of the National Schools Support Services within the Ministry for Education, which collaborates with other entities such as the Malta Career Guidance Association.
  • Interactive career websites aim of addressing the information given to young people aged 11-15 about their future career choices.

The following are initiatives being taken from an employment perspective:

The Maltese Public Employment Service, Jobsplus, offers both:

  • Individualised Career Guidance
  • Support in developing a Personalised Action Plan (PAP) for employment
  • Support to long-term unemployed individuals through Intensified Action Plan (IAP) for employment

The career guidance provided varies according to the individual's needs and level. The intervention may involve face-to-face meetings (where together with the advisor the jobseeker will discuss the current situation, options and develop a Personalised Action Plan), or else opt for advice over the phone or by e-mail. As part of a general PAP, the initial session would also involve providing information on where to search for jobs, local training opportunities and relevant Jobsplus services such as short courses, work exposure schemes, traineeships and any other Jobsplus initiatives. 

Jobsplus also introduced the Outcomes Star Tool. The Outcomes Star is a tool designed to meet the need for outcomes measurement while improving the service for users. It measures clients’ willingness to change and supports them in making that change. The use of the Outcomes Star has helped Employment Advisors identify strengths and weaknesses that previously might have been hidden and highlighted to management possible gaps in the services being provided. Jobsplus are using this tool with both mainstream and vulnerable clients.

Amongst other things, the advisor can help a jobseeker:

  • Choose their career
  • Plan and set goals
  • Search for a job
  • Apply for a job
  • Prepare for a job interview

In addition to these mainstream services, Jobsplus also offers specialized Inclusive Employment Services which are specifically designed to help disadvantaged individuals who have a harder time finding work. These include:

  • Individuals with disability
  • Former substance abusers
  • Former prison inmates
  • Migrants
  • Other people with different social problems
  • Persons with disabilities actively seeking employment or considering a career path change can undergo an assessment. Their employability is evaluated based on their specific disability and potential training and development opportunities are identified. Subsequently, an occupational therapist assesses the clients’ abilities and recommends the most suitable employment path, whether it's in a sheltered, supported or mainstream work environment. Following this assessment, the Lino Spiteri Foundation (LSF) provides customized assistance to clients in their pursuit of suitable employment.
  • Services for other vulnerable groups include weekly outreach for clients undergoing detoxification treatment offered at the DETOX Centre. The client is invited to participate in an individual assessment, career exploration, skills identification, and referrals to work exposure schemes with the employment advisor.
  • Prison inmates serving the last few months of their sentence are offered work exposure schemes, courses, information about Jobsplus’ services and an assessment of the individual’s competences.

Jobsplus offers intensified mentoring for other vulnerable groups before and during employment as necessary. It aims to increase the number of work placements while also encouraging employment retention.

The VASTE Programme, a €13 million project part financed by the European Social Fund under Operational Programme II (2014 – 2020) was implemented by the Jobseeker Services Division in partnership with the Lino Spiteri Foundation (LSF). The project, which was built around the needs of the vulnerable audience, ended in September of 2023 and brought to the forefront innovative vocational assessment, upskilling, and other supportive techniques that facilitate both transfer and retention in employment. 

However, Jobsplus has continued to offer a number of the VASTE services to the PES’ most vulnerable clients through national funds. Examples include the Sheltered Employment Training (SET), a 52-week hands-on training programme which include carrying out tasks such as back office, assembly of products, packaging etc… tailored to clients with intellectual or other severe disabilities. Moreover, Jobsplus has continued its partnership with the Lino Spiteri Foundation (LSF) who in addition to guidance, offer Headstart, a six-month programme; Supported Employment through on-the-Job Coaching which allows early identification of existing and/or potential risks and employer outreach through its corporate relations who also have the role of developing new job profiles by Job-carving through carefully examining occupations and work-flows. 

In addition, Jobsplus has collaboration agreements with key players such as Caritas, the Richmond FoundationInspire and OASI Foundation in the social field who offer further professional expertise, support services and specific programmes 

Jobsplus is committed to further supporting persons with disabilities and other vulnerable groups. In fact, Jobsplus plans to apply under priority 2 of the European Social Fund Plus to foster active inclusion for all.

Apart from providing career guidance, employment advisors are important in matching Youth Guarantee participants with employers. Youths who are registering with the Public Employment Service meet with the youth employment advisors so that a profiling exercise is conducted. Following the profiling phase, a personal action plan is designed, and training services are offered to assist the young person in developing the skills and competences needed in a fluctuating labour market.

The Jobseekers Advisory Unit within the Maltese Public Employment Service, Jobsplus, contacts several educational entities, agencies and non-governmental organisations that work with young people. Through these stakeholders, Jobsplus offers several services to young people, including; information sessions, workshops, career tests, tailor made mock interviews and short training sessions amongst others to young people coming from different educational attainments and backgrounds. Jobsplus also participates in several activities, such as career days, which are organised by other entities. 

The Youth Guarantee, while providing counselling and guidance on how to transition from inactivity to gainful employment it provides a second chance of education, work exposure and traineeship. Jobsplus was entrusted with the responsibility for the overall co-ordination and implementation of the Youth Guarantee, including profiling, assessment of registering youths who are currently unemployed and providing other services. These services include the setting up of personal action plan for each individual, offering them advisory services with regards to the labour market, guidance on the development of employability skills and introducing active labour market measures such as traineeships. Moreover, Jobsplus, also monitors the implementation of the Youth Guarantee through the Indicator Framework for Monitoring the Youth Guarantee.

In addition to offering training and mentoring offline in a traditional format, a bespoke digital platform has been built specifically for the Youth Guarantee. All training modules have been converted online and the digital modules developed are being used to strengthen the participants digital skills. Enhanced youth mentoring has been put in place throughout all scheme phases. Outreach activities have also been enhanced to include partnerships with youth NGO’s in different localities across Malta.

Jobsplus was also implementing the INTERCEPT project. The INTERCEPT project aimed to motivate, mobilise and support youths not in Education, Employment or Training (NEETs) (aged 25-29 years) through a Green Career Pathway. The project had a duration of 29 months and was concluded in 2023. The training programme consisted of a paid training including a 25-hour introductory training component, followed by a 240-hour work placement experience with sustainable employers.  The priority of the programme was to adapt vocational education and training to labour market needs while strengthening the employability of young people in a changing world of work. An expansive national outreach campaign was also implemented to connect youths and employers to the green economy. Moreover, insights gathered through this project will be used to reinforce the Youth Guarantee Scheme. A comprehensive capacity-building initiative was also undertaken to empower PES staff with enhanced skills and knowledge related to jobs within the green spectrum. This training provided valuable insights into the green economy, emerging green job opportunities, and the NEETs phenomenon and fostered a deeper understanding of these critical aspects. Insights gathered through this project will be used to reinforce the Youth Guarantee Scheme.

In 2022, Jobsplus also launched the Smartly Project, which ended in 2023. The project worked towards increasing Malta’s supply of required green and digital skills while at the same time increasing youth employability in key sectors. The first phase of the project included a survey and needs analysis and the main trends have been extracted through thorough data analyses and findings have been presented to the partners. This has triggered the subsequent phases of the project, which included the development of two training programmes targeted at NEETs, one focusing on green skills and the other on digital skills. The training programmes have been reviewed for validation and mainstreaming from the Malta Further and Higher Education Authority (MFHEA) and have been accredited as of October 2023 at MQF level 3 with 5 ECTS. These include the Award in Digital Jobs Training and the Award in Green Skills – The Four Challenges Experience. These courses are provided free of charge as part of the numerous courses offered by Jobsplus. All individuals residing in Malta are eligible to participate given that they meet the eligibility criteria. Furthermore, a comprehensive comparative analysis of the project partners' profiling tools, along with further research, has contributed to developing a new profiling tool to assess youths' competences and skills relevant to green and digital skills. The profiling tools developed will be used as part of the reinforced Youth Guarantee Project.

Additionally, EURES (European Employment Service) Malta provides advice and guidance to all EU/EEA/Swiss nationals, including youths, regarding mobility. The EURES unit within Jobsplus advises interested individuals on searching for a job in another country. Interested individuals are put in touch with the EURES network in the country they wish to move to as it is the EURES advisers in the country of destination that are best placed to assist them about procedures and processes. EURES Malta also directs persons to the EURES Portal, where they can find job opportunities and information on living and working for all member states. Jobsplus also advises people on the appropriate administrative processes to be undertaken locally before someone relocates (i.e. inform tax department, transfer of social benefits, etc). EURES Malta also aids any incoming EU/EEA/Swiss nationals including youths to help them find a job in Malta, how to register as unemployed, and provides information about living and working conditions in Malta.


 All compulsory education services mentioned above are public funded for state schools.

  • Residential school – Addressing children’s holistic needs in a safe environment: (as at 23 November 2020):
  • 0.000028% over recurrent budget amounting to €347,308,000;
  • 0.00045% over capital budget amounting to €88,771,000.

Furthermore, Jobsplus’ schemes are a mix of national funds and EU funds under the ESF.  

Quality assurance

At the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) and Institute of Tourism Studies (ITS), counselling and career guidance policies and procedures are adhered to to ensure quality. MCAST enhances this support through its Wellbeing Hub, which provides additional counselling and specialised therapeutic services, ensuring a comprehensive assistance network for student welfare and career development. 

The University of Malta's Health and Wellness Centre offers services to enhance the wellness of University of Malta staff and students.

Furthermore, Malta’s Public Employment Service, Jobsplus, has additionally instilled a number of additional quality checks within its Jobseekers Advisory function. The respective Unit Managers are now accessing samples of jobseeker profiles for each Employment Advisor to check that the data was inputted correctly. Another check is also being carried out on the outcome of the Personal Action Plan appointments and the agreement reached between the Employment Advisor and the jobseeker. Following these checks, feedback is given to the respective Employment Advisor. These checks are documented in Quality check forms.