[WATCH] New engineering block at MCAST opened

€6 million have been invested in a new engineering block at MCAST as part of a wider project part-financed by the EU

The Prime Minister being shown around the new engineering block at MCAST
The Prime Minister being shown around the new engineering block at MCAST
Prime Minister speaks at inauguration of new engineering block at MCAST

A new engineering block with an investment of €6 million has been opened and will host some 1,300 MCAST students.

The building will be fully functional by September and was purposely built to showcase an industrial environment.

It forms part of a much larger project to expand the MCAST campus with modern buildings to house the various institutes. The project is part-financed by the EU.

The college in Paola has 12,000 students of which 700 are foreign nationals.

At the inauguration on Monday, Education Minister Evarist Bartolo said MCAST formed part of the country’s development strategy.

He said that the start of the My Journey vocational programme in secondary schools from September was possible because MCAST exists.

By 2030 only around 20% of our jobs will require basic skills, which is why we need to emphasise training and education, Bartolo said.

'Diversity strengthens us'

He took a leaf from the shocking events over the weekend when two soldiers were charged with the racially-motivated murder of an Ivorian man, and insisted Malta’s history was one that thrived on an open economy.

Bartolo insisted that diversity strengthened the country. “We have to learn how to live together with all the challenges this brings… let us not stop at shock over what happened, because on a daily basis we may be killing someone with prejudice… we need to accept diversity not simply tolerate it. We have no alternative but to open ourselves to the world.”

Warrants for MCAST engineer graduates

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat who was present for the official opening referred to the controversy over warrants for engineering graduates from MCAST.

Warranted engineers who graduated from the University of Malta have objected to MCAST graduates obtaining warrants because of what they claim is an inferior course.

Muscat said that after lengthy discussions, the 49 students who will be graduating from MCAST now will be in line with requisites to receive an engineering warrant and a course providing 30 credits will be introduced to enable those who graduated in the past to bridge the gap and be able to get their warrant.

MCAST Principal James Calleja said the new building will allow students to learn on the latest equipment. “Our aim is to attract more young people to this important sector,” he added.

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