Capacity building for NGOs, trade unions and employer associations

Article written by Darren Grasso – Director, EU Funding, MEUSAC
Published in The Malta Independent – 12.08.19

Ever since its re-activation in 2008, MEUSAC has earned for itself an excellent reputation both locally and abroad. Our mission has revolved around the underlying principle of bringing the EU closer to citizens, civil society and other stakeholders in Malta, mainly by steering a consultation process on EU policy and legislation, disseminating EU-related information and assisting local councils and civil society organisations to secure EU funds. In this context, MEUSAC is relatively a unique entity.

As a Government agency, MEUSAC can also benefit from EU funds and in 2017 it submitted a project proposal under the European Social Fund (ESF) which was later selected for funding. This project is currently in its implementation phase.

ESF is Europe’s main instrument for supporting employment, helping people get better jobs and ensures fairer job opportunities for all EU citizens. MEUSAC had submitted its proposal under a call of Priority Axis 4 of Operational Programme II. This Priority Axis relates to building the institutional administrative capacity.

The specific objective of the project is to strengthen the capacity of stakeholders involved in the delivery of education (including lifelong learning and training), employment and social policies. In fact, the project is called ‘Engage: Enhancing Stakeholder Participation in Social Dialogue’ and as the title implies, its result will lead to an enhanced capacity for stakeholders in Malta to engage more actively in social dialogue.

The project is implemented through three work-packages: Work package 1: A stakeholder engagement analysis to identify the most effective engagement methodologies in order to provide a service which meets the needs of stakeholders; Work package 2: Strengthening engagement capacities by providing the necessary skills to MEUSAC staff on how capacity of stakeholders may be enhanced; and Work package 3: Strengthening the capacity of stakeholders through training and increased awareness on the processes, tools and opportunities to increase stakeholder participation in social dialogue.

MEUSAC has already implemented the first two work packages successfully and is now in the process of implementing work package three.

To implement this final work package, MEUSAC will be offering a training package to representatives of NGOs, Trade Unions and Employer Associations operating within the sectors of employment, social policy, education and training, to enhance their skills in the following areas: (a) stakeholder engagement and participation in decision-making processes; (b) more effective use of communication tools; and (c) access to EU funding opportunities.

This free training package will consist of three stages which will involve:

A training session
A six-hour training session focusing on an increased participation in social and civil dialogue; more effective communication tools; and accessing EU funding opportunities for stakeholders to put in practice EU priorities. The training session will be provided by experts in the respective fields.

Mentoring
Following the training session, participants will be provided with three hours of individual mentoring by MEUSAC on one of the topics covered during the training session. Participants will be asked to choose the topic on which they wish to be mentored on.

Half-day seminar
The final part of the training package will consist of a half-day seminar during which stakeholders will participate in workshops that will be held to ensure discussion on effective coordination with Government in the social dialogue process; best practices gained from previous activities and seek ways to engage in social and civil dialogue; networking between stakeholders with common interests; and effective formulation of policy papers in relation to the Maltese Government’s position on proposed EU-related matters.

Participants should be committed to participate in all the stages of this training package and those individuals who attend no less than 80% of the total number of hours will receive a certificate of participation from MEUSAC. The stakeholder organisations have to be represented by the same individual during all hours of the sessions provided.

The activities within this training package will commence towards the end of September/beginning of October.

Those interested are requested to respond to an expression of interest by sending an e-mail to MEUSAC on info.meusac@gov.mt with their name, surname and the organisation they represent. Individuals who express interest in the activities of this training package will be contacted by MEUSAC with further details in due course.

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