Expanded the Skills Development Scheme to support economic growth and employment by offering financial support to companies for training.
Malta Enterprise, the Maltese government agency dedicated to economic development and investment attraction, has announced a major extension of its Skills Development Scheme. This programme, designed to enhance skills and promote growth in Malta’s corporate sector, has recorded exceptional results over the past two years. More than 100 beneficiaries have received a total investment of EUR 5 million through this scheme.
The presentation of this new business support initiative was made by the Minister of Environment, Energy and Enterprise, Miriam Dalli, and the President of Malta Enterprise, William Wait, with the agency’s CEO, Kurt Farrugia, in attendance, who provided details on the new programme.
The key element in the update of this scheme of Malta Enterprise, is the extension of the coverage of training costs, which now includes up to 70 per cent of training costs, including apprentices’ salaries during the training period. This is a significant change that will make the programme much more accessible for a wide range of businesses, from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to large companies.
Financial support is mainly in the form of tax credits, but Malta Enterprise is also open to the idea of providing cash grants in certain circumstances. This makes the programme even more flexible to meet the needs of companies.
The main objective of this revamped training initiative is to support comprehensive training that enriches employees’ skills, ensuring that new employees possess the necessary skills and knowledge for optimal performance.
Details in the new Malta Enterprise scheme
To be eligible, companies must be actively involved in a local economic activity and duly registered with the Malta Companies Registry. In addition, applicants should engage in activities in line with the objectives of the funding scheme of Malta Enterprise. Compliance with VAT, income tax and social security regulations is mandatory.
Through this programme, Malta Enterprise will support companies in providing training to develop and update the skills and knowledge of their employees, as well as to train new employees so that they acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to perform their jobs effectively.
Duration and budget
The duration of this measure for now is until 31 December 2023.
The programme’s budget of Malta Enterprise is €10 million and is available to duly registered companies that carry out an economic activity in Malta and are engaged in one or more eligible activities. However, activities excluded from the benefits of the General State Aid Regulation are not eligible for this measure.
Eligible training programmes
Eligible training includes training that leads to the acquisition of skills, knowledge or know-how directly related to the business operations of the applicant company and the development of the trainees’ current and future functions within the organisation. This may also include training for non-Maltese employees to help them learn the Maltese language and culture, the use of digital technologies, digital communication, cyber security and other digitisation-related topics. Training on improving the company’s position on environmental, social and corporate governance practices is equally important.
The training must be divided into training modules, each module must be at least eight (8) hours in duration and must be delivered to at least five (5) employees, unless the module relates to on-the-job training involving the use of machinery and equipment that cannot be replicated efficiently in a classroom environment, or there are acceptable reasons why the training cannot be delivered to a group of five (5) or more persons.
The implementer must clearly identify the learning objectives to be achieved through the training and establish a methodology on how they will be measured at the end of the session.
A formal evaluation of the trainees is not required, but the applicant must identify methods on how to measure the effectiveness of the training and how the trainer will determine that the learning objectives have been achieved.
However, some training activities are not eligible for support under this scheme of Malta Enterprise, including team building activities and training focusing on corporate culture, values, organisational behaviour, brand identity and similar company-specific actions.
Also excluded from the funding programme are training activities that companies have to carry out in order to comply with mandatory national training standards and training required by national law.
Routine training, such as periodic training to keep employees up-to-date on current processes and procedures, is also ineligible. Furthermore, any training related to gambling will not be considered eligible.
In addition to the above-mentioned requirements, only enterprises whose main field of activity is defined in specific categories provided by NACE Rev.2, the statistical classification of economic activities of the European Community, will be supported.
Eligible costs for this programme of Malta Enterprise include:
- the salary costs of trainees.
- the salary costs of trainers.
- the hourly costs of training hours provided by external experts.
- the air travel costs of sending trainees to training locations abroad if the training is not available locally and is more cost-effective than doing it locally.
- air travel costs for taking trainers to Malta and subscription costs for accessing online training content, including self-learning systems, provided that such costs are used exclusively for or directly related to the training project and form part of the training costs charged by the training provider to the beneficiary.
These costs must be linked to a minimum of 16 hours of paid study leave or supervised access during which the trainee must attend training.
Salary costs will be calculated on the basis of an hourly cost. Where training is provided by an external expert and not charged at an hourly cost, the direct contact hours specified in the training documentation shall be taken into account and any reimbursement shall be limited to an hourly cost established as a function of the direct contact hours.
How the contribution will be disbursed
Support may be granted in the form of a tax credit, cash grant or a combination of tax credit and cash grant. In any case, the total amount of support must not exceed the maximum aid intensity set in the programme.
Applications must be submitted at least one month before the start of the training programme (i.e. before the start of work). However, only applications that can be approved before the start of training can be considered for a cash grant.
Applications for the grant must be submitted directly Malta Enterprise.
Do you need to plan training courses for your company and want to rely on experts? Do you need assistance in submitting an application? Complete and submit the form below and you will be contacted by industry experts for an initial consultation.