MCAST collaborates with European partners on vocational training and water-related education
In many countries, especially in Europe, we take our clean drinking water for granted. The process of water production is a complex one which requires a skilled workforce to operate. Several European countries are struggling with a shortage of young people interested in water-related education. This is the main reason why European colleges and professionals from the water industry have joined forces to train water professionals at Vocational Training and Education (VET) level.
The webinar of the European Platform of Vocational Excellence Water was held online in May. In this meeting, five European regions, including Malta, discussed the future skilled vocational practitioner in the field of water technology.
Dutch partners, Learning Hub Friesland, Vitens, Katapult and CIV Water, shared their knowledge and experience on how to achieve good cooperation between VET education and the water industry. During the online meeting knowledge and insights were shared about how to stimulate collaboration and how to strengthen regional networks.
The outcomes of the webinar showed that there are still significant differences between the various European regions. Nicola Murray from Glasgow College, Scotland confirmed: “It was surprising to see that we all have a different starting point”.
All project partners operate within a particular context with different challenges and opportunities. Speaking about the Maltese context, Edwin Zammit Deputy Director for Innovation at MCAST, said, “One of our biggest challenges and common factor that unites us in Malta is the high freshwater scarcity on the island. It is vital to invest in the right talent and education to provide good and safe water for all.”
PoVE Water is a transnational project that draws on existing and emerging vocational competences and skills needs in the water sector, translating them into an approach of vocational excellence. The project kicked off in January 2020 in Brussels. The project brings together VET institutions, the water industry, research centres, H.E., governmental institutions and water sector representatives from the Netherlands, Scotland, Latvia, Malta and the Czech Republic. These partners share a common interest in developing the full potential of VET institutions to play a proactive role in support of growth, competitiveness and innovation of the water sector.
MCAST – Water Research and Training Centre
Malta has the lowest water resources index and highest water competition index in the whole of the Mediterranean basin. Challenges are placed for the nation to be at the forefront of both water technology and in the skilling of water operations and management while operating within challenging socio-economic conditions. It is within this setting that the MCAST Water Research and Training Centre holds strong potential. The Centre focuses on water enterprise, as it aims to embody the application of creative ideas and innovations to practical situations in the water field, as well as solving the challenges that are encountered locally. Three main themes characterise the Centre, these being, Water Quality, Water Systems Control and Water efficiency and innovation.