The Malta Independent 13 July 2020, Monday

KNŻ issues proposals to soften consequences of pandemic

Thursday, 4 June 2020, 18:38 Last update: about 2 months ago

The Kunsill Nazzjonali taż-Żgħażagħ (KNŻ) has published proposals that they believe will soften the inevitable consequences of the pandemic.

The KNŻ said that it has been occupied with discussing ways of preserving the wellbeing of youth, arguing that they will be disproportionately affected by this crisis.

Education

1. For youths in education, KNŻ is proposing that the COVID Wage Supplement which is given to Part-Time workers be extended to all full-time students in Part-Time employment. "This proposal should be implemented as a back payment since March 2020. We believe that this incentive would address the current discrimination between student workers and their colleagues."

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2. KNŻ  said that young people are known to be disproportionally hit by an economic crisis. "Our proposal is to incentivise businesses who introduce new paid internship and traineeships schemes for youths. If implemented, this incentive would create new opportunities for youth, especially in the summer months."

3. Due to several businesses either cancelling or postponing traineeship schemes, KNŻ is proposing a fund for students coming from lower-income households to make use of, should they remain unemployed.

Employment & Mental Health

4. Positive mental health is known to increase productivity in the workplace." Several statistics show that the current pandemic had an impact on mental health, especially on youth. We believe that more youth-friendly services should be available to youth at this critical time."

5. KNŻ is proposing an aggressive communications campaign to clearly highlight the mental health support services already available and any other services which may be implemented.

6. For youths in employment, KNŻ is proposing a JobsPlus scheme to adequately allocate employment opportunities in cases where youth are laid off due to the Covid-19 crisis.

7. For workers who are denied leave due to forced leave taken during the Covid-19 crisis, government-funded paid leave should be implemented at 2 days per month to be used by the end of the year.

Further to the above proposals, KNŻ reiterates its call for investment in a civic education framework.

"As the country is striving towards normality, we believe that now is the right time to implement this initiative. Civic education plays an essential role in strengthening our democratic society, preparing informed citizens and promoting their participation in the civic life of their communities. We urge the Government to implement this proposal prior to the upcoming general election."


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