​Trainee Scheme - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


General Information on the Trainee Scheme


What is the purpose of the Trainee Scheme?

This scheme intends to combine the students’ theoretical background with practical experience within their area of studies, whilst introducing them to a working environment within the Malta Public Administration.

Who can apply for the Trainee Scheme?

Full-time students reading for any qualification at MQF Level 6/7 at MCAST, University of Malta, or any other tertiary education institution, can be eligible to apply for the Trainee Scheme.

Where can students apply for this scheme?

Vacancies are available on: UoM Degree Plus website and MCAST Web portal. (This is subject to available vacancies at that point in time).

Where can the Trainees be placed?

The students can be placed in a department/ section within the Public Administration that can provide significant working experience within their field of study.
 
How long is the duration of placements?

The contract can be signed up to 1 year (on a part-time definite basis) and renewed up to 3 years and 11 months (if the Trainee is still a full-time student). 


Terms of  the Contract of Service with the Malta public administration for students pursuing a tertiary educational course of studies at the University of Malta, Malta College for Arts Science and Technology (MCAST) and any other institution.


What does the contract entail?

The contract is sent by the Institute for the Public Services to the respective Ministry/ Entity in order to be signed by the Trainee, Endorsed by Ministry/Entity & Signed by IPS as the employer. The Ministry must also register the student through Jobsplus on a part-time basis.

How many hours can Trainees work?

The Employee’s normal working hours vary from a minimum of 5 hours to a maximum of 25 hours per week, based on the flexibility of the employee and agreement/approval of Employer. 

Provided that, during the period between 01st July till the 30th September, the Employee’s normal working hours vary from a minimum of five (5) hours to a maximum of thirty​-nine (39) hours per week, based on the flexibility of the Employee and agreement/approval of Employer. ​
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What is the salary attached to the scheme?

The rate is €8.45 (2021) per hour and expenses are incurred by the respective employer signing the contract. 

Is there a probation period?

Yes, trainees have a 6-month probation period on the first signed contract.

Can Trainees work somewhere else at the same time?

The Employee must devote attention and abilities during his/her hours of work to his/her duties for the Employer. The Employee may not, under any circumstance, whether directly or indirectly, undertake any other duties during his/her hours of work under this employment.

What happens when the contract is finished?

The contract will automatically be terminated between the two parties within one year from the date of signing. In case the employer wishes to retain the trainee, following the termination of the contract, a new contract is drawn up for another period up to 1 year (if the Trainee is still a student). Contracts can in total be renewed up to 3 years and 11 months as per PSMC.

What Happens if the Trainee would like to stop working?

The Trainee shall provide a resignation letter to the respective head. The Trainee may terminate the contract giving two weeks’ notice and proper regard to any pending work. 

Do we have to register students with Jobsplus?

Yes, once contract is done, DCSs are to register the trainees as part-time employees with Jobsplus.


Monitoring 


How are the students monitored?

A supervisor is assigned to each trainee for monitoring purposes by the Head of Department or Section where the trainee is allocated. Occasional spot-checks are also carried out by authorised public officers within the Institute of the Public Services.

Is there any administration incurred to monitor the students?

The supervisor will receive a logbook from IPS for administrative purposes and to monitor the trainee. The Logbook should be filled in and sent to the officer in charge within IPS, every month from the initial date of employment.


Sick and Leave Entitlement 


Are the students entitled to any sick / vacation leave?

The students are entitled to sick / vacation leave on a pro-rata basis. 

How is Sick / Vacation Leave Calculated overall?

In cases where the working hours of a part-timer is based on irregular weekly working hours (vary from week to week), the pro-rata is calculated over the average of hours worked over a period of 13 weeks (Quarterly:- January to March; April to June; July to September; October to December). 

Thus, in order to calculate the leave entitlement, if for instance the employee worked a total of 120 hours, the 120 is to be divided by 2080 hours ( full time  hours p.a) x 216 hours (Entitled leave for 2020) and the result would be the entitlement for those 13 weeks = 12.5 hours. (A similar procedure is to be followed to calculated the Sick Leave Entitlement.) 

Are Trainees to pay the Category F Class One Contributions that of 7.94 Euro rather than NI Contributions?

No.  As you may note from the Social Security Act (Cap. 318), the highlighted category F is only applicable for persons over eighteen years of age who are following a full-time course of studies or instruction under the Student-Worker Scheme, or other similar schemes (including the Extended Skills Training Schemes, but excluding the Worker-Student Schemes) involving distinct work and study periods for which they are receiving remuneration. So since the Trainee Scheme does not fall under one of the mentioned schemes, category F is not applicable.

Are Trainees to pay NI Contributions?

Part-time employees who therefore work less than 40 hours per week and who earn less than the National Minimum (weekly) Wage, can opt to have their share on social security contributions, paid at the rate of 10% of their basic weekly wage. This contribution rate is called the Pro-rata rate and does not apply to the employer’s share who has to pay the full applicable weekly rate. One should also consider that when paying social security contributions by 10% pro-rata, these will not be considered as one contribution per week for record purposes but carry a lesser albeit proportional weight against the applicable full weekly rate.

Are Trainees entitled to Bonuses?

Yes, it would be best if the bonuses are calculated on a quarterly basis by considering the number of hours worked every quarter, dividing them by 1040 and multiplying the answer either by €121.16 or €135.10.

How to calculate pro-rata Public Holidays?

In this case, let’s say that the student works on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 5 hours each day. So, if a Public Holiday falls on the working day, say Wednesday, the student is to be paid for 5 hours – just like a normal working day. 

On the other hand, if the Public Holiday falls on Thursday and therefore the student never works on such day, the pro-rata entitlement is to be calculated as follows: 15 hours ÷ 40 hours x 8 hours = 3 hours.

What happens to unutilised Leave Entitlement?

Students are entitled to a payment of the remaining balance of vacation leave. Any remaining unutilised vacation leave can be paid only, upon termination of employment.​