The Malta Independent 22 January 2021, Friday

Discover your Talent: Julian Mallia chosen as Malta’s ambassador for European Vocational Skills Week

Sunday, 15 September 2019, 10:04 Last update: about 2 years ago

Julian Mallia, aka Julinu, an illustrator and fine artist, has been selected as Malta's Ambassador for the 2019 European Vocational Skills Week (14-18 October). Organised by the European Commission, the Week will involve hundreds of events across the EU to highlight the benefits that Vocational Education and Training (VET) brings to people of all ages. 'Discover your Talent!' is the motto of the campaign and 'VET for all - Skills for Life' is the theme of this year.  Julian Mallia aims to show that VET and apprenticeships are a smart choice, leading to high-quality jobs and increased employability.


Marianne Thyssen, the EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, said: "I am delighted that Julian Mallia has accepted to be an Ambassador for our European Vocational Skills Week in October. Vocational education is an excellent first education choice, providing people with the skills needed for the 21st century labour market and opening up many career possibilities. I have been trying to get this message across during my mandate, through initiatives such as the European Vocational Skills Week and with the help of our VET Ambassadors."  

Julian Mallia said: "It's a great honour to be selected as Malta's Ambassador for the 2019 European Vocational Skills Week. But it's also an opportunity for me to encourage people of all ages to look out for the range of career options and vocational courses available today in Malta.

I have met the other ambassadors in Brussels earlier this year - each of whom had very inspiring stories of how they started and how they decided to invest in their talent. So I look forward to working closely with the European Commission to raise awareness about this valuable initiative in Malta as well. I am sure that vocational skills training and apprenticeships can open doors to many professions and trades - carpenter, electrician, engineer, designer, musician, sales person, etc to name but a few.

In today's ever-changing work environment, it makes more sense to invest in the areas that one genuinely cares about - regardless of age. I myself was already a psychology graduate when I decided to shift to visual art. So changing one's area of expertise shouldn't be out of the question," said Julian Mallia.

Julian Mallia is one of a group of Ambassadors from different EU Member States who have volunteered to spread the word about VET in their home countries. The European Commission and the national authorities selected Julian for the prestigious role in Malta due to his inspiring profile. His work can be viewed on

Last year, over 1,800 events took place across 45 countries including Malta during the third edition of the annual European Vocational Skills Week. The 2019 Week is expected to attract an even bigger turnout. The total reach of the campaign on social media last year was over 34 million people.


VET statistics: Europe

  • 60% of VET graduates find their first long-term job within a month of finishing their studies (rising to 80 % after six months)
  • 85% of vocational education and training students are happy with the skills they have acquired
  • Job openings for high-skilled people are expected to increase by 21% during 2015-2025, while there will be 17 % fewer opportunities for low-skilled workers
  • More than 120 000 vocational learners and apprentices and around 20 000 staff benefit from European mobility opportunities each year
  • The European Social Fund is investing €6.7 billion in VET and €7.2 billion in lifelong learning (2014-2020)


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