The Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) offers its education and training services to over 7 500 students each year. Behind the wide-ranging services provided to students aspiring towards different careers are the tireless efforts of 1000 full-time and 400 part-time employees.
Higher education institutes are more obviously thought of as learning spaces rather than workplaces. Yet education institutes like MCAST offer unique career opportunities where the vibrant campus atmosphere is also the work environment. MCAST is particularly diverse as the largest vocational and education institution in Malta, consisting of six institutes and four campuses. Careers at the College vary, including lecturing, research and project management, technical and administrative positions.
In 2021, MCAST invited staff members from all institutes to participate in a staff attitude survey to measure job satisfaction and highlight challenges during the academic year. The study looks at aspects related to communication, support, resources, leadership and training. Overall the survey indicates high job satisfaction and security across the different institutes and positions. The results also suggest that working at the College is seen as a long-term career path where progression opportunities are also possible.
Most respondents from the administrative grade (49%) were satisfied with their job security, and another 27% were very satisfied. Academic staff members gave similar reactions. The majority of participants said they were satisfied (47%) or very satisfied (39%) with their job security.
The majority of administrative staff (65%) claimed that they do not see themselves leaving MCAST in the foreseeable future, and 22% said they would consider pursuing a different career within a couple of years. 91% of respondents said they were likely to recommend MCAST as an employer. Within academic grades, 71% reported that they do not see themselves leaving in the foreseeable future. A further 13% responded that they would never opt to leave. For lecturers, it is very likely (35%) or likely (52%) that they will recommend the College as an employer. Most feel satisfied (41%) or very satisfied (27%) with the management support received when dealing with their lecturing duties and student behavioural issues.
As expected in a higher education environment, a strong learning at work culture was observed as 44% of the employees were satisfied with the training opportunities. The majority of respondents (93%) want more training opportunities in the future.
Commenting on the results, Principal and CEO Professor Joachim James Calleja said: “The survey is only one way of understanding how our staff members experience the College as a workplace and as an employer. However, it does give us an overall picture of positive aspects that need to be encouraged and challenges that need to be addressed. The results show that we need to raise more awareness about the support services we offer. This is particularly significant at a time when the pandemic has deeply affected all aspects of our lives. Our mission is to always aspire towards meaningful work that promotes cooperation, communication and development.”
MCAST offers a wide range of career opportunities for lecturing staff, technical and administrative staff. The College also has its Applied Research and Innovation Centre offering attractive opportunities for highly skilled and qualified employees from various fields.