MCCM Pre Budget Document

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Malta Chamber of Construction Management

Pre Budget Proposals October 2023

Background

The Malta Chamber of Construction Management acknowledges the fact that Malta’s socio and economic aspects are no stranger to the international arena, especially that of the European zone.Situations such as the Ukraine war generated substantial impact to the multiple facets of economies. Notwithstanding the huge support Government provided during the pandemic, it continues to provide specific tailormade timely support to maintain economic stability.

Within this context, sustainability is a key aspect going forward. MCCM believes that it is essentially critical to plan long term and that this may potentially involve ‘bold’ decisions, especially when it comes to matters relative to specific economic areas such as that of the building and construction industry.

It is clear from the EU commission’s strategies and directives, that the ESG elements and Climate Change are areas of top priority, with clear set targets, that member states are obliged to adhere to.

Therefore, MCCM believes that it is appropriate and the right time not only to continue to start addressing the long-standing issues that the local industry has been faced with, BUT increase and enhance the various actions that are much and much desired.

Awareness, education, and training

During the past year, MCCM maintained its efforts towards the awareness of the raising of standards within the industry. In collaboration with the BICC, it organised H&S Courses for Professionals, putting emphasis on its importance.

An area that MCCM believes in, is training and education and therefore, it recommends to Government to introduce the Health and Safety card as a basic mandatory requirement that any worker being professional, skilled, or unskilled labour should have in possession.

For an NGO like ours, having its own premises with all the expenses that this entails, is not an easy feat. Tax credits for associations like ours would help alleviate this burden (to cover the cost of rent etc). Government through the Ministry for Public Works and Planning (MPWP), supported our chamber in several events including but not limited to the successful International Heritage Conference and the Women in Construction Conference.

These events were both supported financially by the MPWP. The chamber strives to continue with such qualitative initiatives and therefore suggests that Government provides such support as costs to conduct such events are substantial.

Investing in appropriate consultations

Given that we are seeing the first signs of change in the industry in terms of the regulatory changes such as the licensing of contractors and related, MCCM has and shall keep on participating in public consultations relative to the industry change proposals.

We shall continue to participate and we feel that more needs to be invested in the awareness of such consultations.

Skills and employment

By participating in the Education Division, within the I-Choose (Career Fair), our chamber is confirming its commitment towards the upscaling of the industry and to raise awareness with the younger generation. This is important considering the clear skill gap that exists and the reason why so many non-locals are required to be brought to Malta to work in construction projects (all stages- from design and planning to execution).

This is a chronic issue as not only existing trades are being lost but most of the time, we are importing foreign labour of inferior quality and this is reflected in the final product. Government needs to increase its investment in the state institutions and support private institutions, especially when it comes to the process relative to the accreditation of courses and prioritization of the type of courses, to meet the existing skill gaps and future proof.

The government should consider that training related to the skills (Skill Cards) becomes compulsory in all work trade areas and has to ensure that any fines imposed related to non-adherence are reasonable and updated regularly. It is important that emphasis is exerted on training and re-training with the fines and closing of sites (in cases) be subject to mandatory re-training and re-certification processes and this within a pre-set moratorium period. Controls through adequate and professional audits may provide the recovery of the particular issues / events.

Insurance Cover

An area that MCCM worked hard for, is the availability of a Professional Indemnity Insurance Package that is now available to local Construction Project Managers. Government should help all those Construction Project Managers that are looking at such a cover to maybe have part of its cost subsidised through tax credits. This will encourage for more professionalism and better peace of mind for the professional and their clients.

A Warranted Construction Project Manager

Another year has surpassed and the Construction Project Manager remains unregulated.

This has been a promise and an earlier budget measure that did not materialise. Unless this profession is properly legally recognised through an act like other professions, it is going to be hard to attract people to the profession and this will reflect on the quality and standards of our built environment.

Thebaseworkonthismatterhassincebeenexhaustedandtherefore MCCMfailstounderstandthereluctancytoprogressonthisactionthat willONLYenhancetheraisingofstandardsandalignmentintermsof competencies.
Malta Chamber of Construction Management https://mccm.org.mt/ info@mccm.org.mt Tel: (356) 77116778
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