Helping young people achieve their goals in life and education

Using a flexible approach – one that applies beyond the classroom environment – the xl programme promotes experiential learning to support young people achieve a range of personal and employability skills and gain qualifications

The Prince of Wales with young people from The Prince’s Trust
The Prince of Wales with young people from The Prince’s Trust

Education and personal development is at the top of our agenda for youths. Earlier this month, we signed a tripartite agreement with Princes Trust International and HSBC Malta to establish a programme to support young people in Malta to achieve goals relating to their education, training and future lives.

 The Prince’s Trust in the UK was founded in 1976 by the Prince of Wales with a commitment to improve the lives of disadvantaged young people in the UK. Prince’s Trust International has been created to enable the Trust to build on its success in the UK, addressing this demand for advice and expertise from governments and NGOs seeking to tackle youth unemployment around the world and to share its experience and expertise.

 For a number of years, The Prince’s Trust has been working in partnership with schools and centres across the UK, with support now reaching 10,000 young people every year. The Trust supports young people to maximise their true abilities through a range of programmes, including the acclaimed xl programme. The xl programme provides a personal development pathway for young people aged 13-19 through a network of clubs. These informal clubs support young people in developing the skills and confidence needed to progress into a positive future.

 Throughout their journey, the Trust has received staunch support from HSBC Group. Now, as The Prince’s Trust expands its mission internationally, HSBC Malta Foundation has become the first international partner of the acclaimed ‘The Prince’s Trust’. In the process, Malta becomes the first country in the world where the highly praised xl programme will be implemented outside the UK.

Using a flexible approach – one that applies beyond the classroom environment – the xl programme promotes experiential learning to support young people achieve a range of personal and employability skills and gain qualifications. Young people work together as a group on practical learning projects, which are designed to boost their confidence, improve self esteem, attainment, behaviour and attendance. In the coming months dedicated staff from the five selected schools will receive specialist training in programme delivery and qualifications. They will also have an opportunity to view best practice resources and schemes of work which will enhance young people’s personal development and employability skills.

From the recent support of MCAST’s Institute of Art & Design’s annual end-of-year exhibition, to other impactful initiatives such as Junior Achievement – Young Enterprise, Junior Chamber International, and the school-specific ‘Catch the Drop’ educational campaign, HSBC Malta Foundation has shown that it shares the dynamism and aspirations of the youth of Malta.

We are grateful to the HSBC Malta Foundation for committing itself to investing in the local community and to bring about lasting benefits in society. The Foundation makes this happen by supporting programmes that make a difference to disadvantaged children, the environment and heritage. Their support of the xl programme will realise their mission to help disadvantaged children, particularly, in succeeding in our educational system.

By extending a grant of €300,000 over a period of three years to implement the xl programme, the Foundation is not only demonstrating its confidence in the abilities of our youth, but also becoming part of the movement that recognises the imagination and ideals of disadvantaged youth as vital to the societies in which they live.

The future of today’s society hinges on the manner in which educational programmes are implemented in unlocking the full potential of youth and preparing them for the world they will inherit. It is widely established that the forces that influence the intellectual and emotional development of a child are not simply present in the classroom. Just as the influencers, such as the media, technology, family, peers, the community, shape the outlook of youth, so should the education be omnipresent in modern times.

I thank the HSBC Malta Foundation for their efforts to bring The Prince’s Trust and the Ministry for Education together to sign a contract to implement the award-winning xl programme. In doing so, the Foundation has set examples of social inclusion, positive philanthropy, and responsible partnerships on an international scale. It is a case of corporate social responsibility at its best.

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