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CORE Platform Annual Report 2017-2018

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CORE Platform

Annual Report 2017-2018


Editorial

Ever since its creation as the national platform on CSR in Malta in September 2015, CORE

Platform has grown a lot and has formed part of numerous CSR initiatives with local

councils, NGOs, businesses, and local communities.

CORE Platform, which is under the patronage of Her Excellency, is made up of the business

institutions in the country, namely the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and

Industry; the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA); the Malta Employers'

Association (MEA); the Malta Business Bureau (MBB); the General Retailers and Traders

Union (GRTU); and SOS Malta, which is representing the NGOs.

I was appointed President of this new organisation on behalf of the Malta Chamber of

Commerce, Enterprise and Industry. CORE Platform also took on Mr Matteo Privitelli as its

executive in May 2016.

CORE Platform, upon its inception, became a member of CSR Europe, which is a powerful

entity based in Brussels that lobbies on CSR at European level. This was a very important

step for the organisation especially since Malta had yet to feature at a European level when

it came to CSR initiatives. CORE Platform also became a member of the European Alliance

for Apprenticeships in May 2017 and in March 2018 CORE Platform became a member of

the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Mediterranean and SDSN Youth.

As the board of CORE Platform had initially decided to opt against individual membership,

various companies were approached for sponsorships and here I must sincerely thank AX

Hotels, Alfred Mizzi Foundation, Tumas Foundation, Corinthia Group of Companies, Demajo

Group, Bank of Valletta, Advise Ltd., as well as Farsons Foundation and Think Ltd. who are

sponsoring our website. Moreover, I must mention the Malta Community Chest Fund, which

very kindly agreed to give us a grant to help CORE Platform find its feet. Without your

generosity and support, we would not be here today.

In order to create an action plan for CSR, CORE Platform has held meetings with a vast

number of stakeholders, including SMEs, large companies and corporations, NGOs,

government ministries and entities, as well as local councils. As priorities, the following

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actions were established:

To encourage small and medium size businesses to take part in CSR activities, mainly

in their localities;

To create with local councils a priority task to be handled, such as the maintenance

of playgrounds;

To take part in European CSR-related projects;

To take part in local projects with NGOs, local communities, and businesses;

To create CSR Awards.

In the meantime, CORE Platform has been engaged in a number of local and European

projects. Some of the local projects include "Volunteer Siema", "Working Roma", "Resilient

Communities", projects with the President’s Trust, "Leaders For A Day", “Moving Beyond

Integration”, a project on gender-based violence, as well as another project aimed at

increasing NGO sustainability. CORE Platform is also engaged in "EUTalent", which is an EUfunded

project and focuses on apprenticeships and of improving the quality of

apprenticeship schemes and identifying obstacles in the field.

In addition to this, we had, since the very beginning, told the Government that Malta is the

only EU country that does not have a national CSR Plan. Even so, this was acknowledged and

we offered to co-ordinate this with all the Ministries concerned yet, until today, we have not

managed to get this done. Thanks to the MCCFF, CORE Platform was awarded funds to carry

out this much needed project. We have found a lot of support from various entities,

especially businesses and we hope to finalise an action plan on CSR for Malta by the middle

of 2019.

In Malta, a lot is being done by companies, especially the larger ones. Moreover,

tremendous work is being done by the various NGOs, however this national plan will clearly

set out the priorities in order to achieve better outcomes. We also need to link all the CSR

activities to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are part of the United

Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and are a list of 17 goals aimed at

promoting peace and prosperity for all, ending all forms of poverty, fighting inequalities, and

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addressing climate change issues.

As a concluding remark, I would like to add that I have always been passionate about CSR –

not only because it is the correct and ethical way to run a business, but also because it

makes ‘business sense ‘. However, like with everything else, it has to first start internally. As

the leader of your organisation or company you have to work with your people and,

together, you work on the objectives and the environment you want to create.

Only if your people feel part of the organisation, are treated as part of it, are empowered,

and feel that they have a future in your company, they will wholeheartedly embrace CSR.

Only then should your CSR objectives, which should be linked to your business and products,

be used externally, as your people in your organisation will become your ambassadors and,

together with them, you can share and export what you live inside your organisation to the

outside with the community you work in, your customers, your suppliers and whoever is

connected to your business.

CSR is only real and effective if it is a holistic part of the organisation or business!

Helga Ellul

President

CORE Platform

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Local Projects

Leaders For A Day

Since 2016, CORE Platform has been collaborating with Junior Achievement Young

Enterprise (JAYE) and the Malta Chamber of Commerce in the “Leaders For A Day” (L4D)

initiative. L4D was designed to help

young people in their future careers

by exposing them to first-hand

experience of typical day-to-day

work in several businesses and

companies.

The last edition of L4D happened on

the 14 th of September 2018 where 42

students were welcomed by 26 companies who have decided to give their full support to

this initiative.

The event, which is being held on an annual basis, has also been endorsed by government,

with the Ministry of Education giving its full backing and will continue to aim to promote

further the CP and the ESP among the business community, schools, as well as the decisionmakers

in Malta.

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Projects with The President's Trust Employment Initiative

Ever since its inception, CORE Platform

has been supporting the President's Trust

in a number of projects. In 2017, for

instance, the organisation participated in

“The President’s Trust Employment

Initiative”, which aims to help young

people, who are coming from difficult

backgrounds and are going through

personal challenges, find employment in

Malta.

Apart from this initiative, CORE Platform also contributed towards the success of “The

President's Trust Youth Empowerment Initiative”, which aimed at giving a voice and

empowering young people in the

South-East region of Malta and allow

them to become active citizens. As

part of this project, the organisation

managed to bring all relevant

stakeholders together to actively

start working on establishing a skate

park in Birżebbuġa. This skate park,

which is currently being constructed,

would act as a safe space for young people and would allow them to socialise in a secure

environment.

CORE Platform also helped The President’s Trust secure funds for a Community Centre in

Marsa, and is looking into the possibility of setting up other similar centres in various

localities in Malta.

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Volunteer Sliema

Volunteer Sliema, which has just

concluded, was a mobility project for the

locality of Sliema, which saw a

partnership between SOS Malta and

Core Platform. This project was also

supported by the Sliema Local Council and Saint James Capua Hospital, who heavily

contributed towards the project’s success. This multi-stakeholder local partnership

developed an innovative community based response to the needs of vulnerable elderly

people to ensure a reduction of their social exclusion, whilst contributing to a reawakening

of the spirit of self-giving and active citizenship within the community through the

development of a local volunteer scheme.

The project ensured that vulnerable elderly and people with a physical disability feel more

mobile and able to access health care and essential services, as well as engage in leisure and

community activities. Additionally, the project sought to provide emotional support to these

groups of people through the creation of a Community Volunteers Network.

In addition to the above, the scheme also made use of the existing SOS Malta car, where

elderly persons and people with mobility were driven to places of their choosing within

Sliema. This initiative was so popular that other local councils started approaching CORE

platform and SOS Malta to see how they could incorporate the idea in their localities.

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Resilient Communities

CORE Platform is partnering with SOS

Malta to promote cross-sector

partnerships for the implementation of

the Sustainable Development Goals

(SDGs) at a local level. The vision

behind this project, which is partfinanced

by the Malta Community

Chest Fund, stems from the need to

begin addressing the 17 goals for sustainable development committed to by UN world

leaders in 2015.

To this end, this particular project considers the pivotal role that businesses could play in

complementing ongoing and new local efforts to establish a more equitable, inclusive and

sustainable society but also recognises the need for transformative change in order for

companies to integrate environmental, social and good governance approaches into their

business framework.

The main objectives of “Resilient Communities” are as follows:

1) Increasing awareness amongst the Maltese business sector, consumers, civil society and

local government regarding the SDGs and the collective responsibility of all to take action

for their achievement;

2) Engaging all players in constructive dialogue and action on Responsible Business for the

achievement of global sustainability; and

3) Contributing to behaviour change of Maltese businesses through awareness and

engagement and thus encourage the incorporation of responsible policies, practices and

collaboration with local stakeholders to ensure local community development approaches.

In order to achieve this, CORE Platform, with the help of SOS Malta, has, among other

things, created an online hub on Responsible Business as well as a Facebook page for the

project. Both the page and the hub, the latter of which can be found on the organisation’s

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website, serve as an interactive space for learning and knowledge exchange. These are very

much linked to the public campaign that is being led by SOS Malta. The campaign’s aim is to

engage citizens and encourage them to push businesses and local authorities to become

engaged in tackling SDGs at a local level.

In order to create more engagement and foster a cooperative environment, CORE Platform

has also organised participatory stakeholder meetings and workshops involving all relevant

actors to foster a cooperative environment. These events were held in Gzira and Mellieha,

which are the two pilot localities for our project. Both local councils, as well as a number of

businesses and local organisations have been very supportive of this project and they have

helped us on a number of occasions when it came to the logistics and preparation of our

events.

More meetings are being planned for 2018 and the beginning of 2019. All of the work being

done will ultimately serve towards the development of local sustainable development

action plans for Mellieha and Gzira.

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Working Roma

This project was funded by the European Union

– JUST/2014/RDIS/AG/DISC – and aimed at

providing new tools, based on the exchange of

best practices, to prevent intolerance in the

labour market towards migrants.

The majority of working age migrants and foreigners in Central and Southern Europe do not

have a job and many have been out of work for a considerable length of time.

The high levels of unemployment of working migrant people are most often perceived as a

problem of scarce supply-side in the labour market, due to low levels of education and

professional qualifications of migrants and foreigners. However, there is another dimension,

less spoken and recognised, that is discrimination.

Discrimination significantly aggravates the situation and causes systemic exclusion from

employment for a large number of the migrant and foreign communities.

For this particular project, CORE Platform partnered with Paragon Europe and embarked on

a mission to overcome this discriminatory environment in Malta and within the Maltese

business community.

In May and June 2017, the first workshops on the issue were held at the premises of the

Foundation for Human Resources Development in Sliema and Paragon Europe in Mosta

respectively, with a number of

entrepreneurs, employers, as well as the

migrants and foreigners themselves

actively participating in the debates.

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Moving Beyond Integration

This project, which is being funded by the Malta Council for the Voluntary Sector and falls

under the MCVS’ Training Initiatives Scheme – Priority 2, is a training programme aimed at

addressing the needs emanating from an ever-increasing culturally diverse workforce. CORE

Platform will be partnering with Ms Maria-Gabriele Doublesin on this project.

The training programme will be taking the form of three workshops which aim to explore

the unused potential of foreign workers in Malta. With these workshops, Ms Doublesin will

be developing tools that can be used in fostering inclusion in the workplace. Therefore, the

workshops will offer training in specific areas such as intercultural competency building,

communication and negotiation skills, strategy and planning with an intercultural team, and

moving beyond bias, amongst other things.

The first workshop, which was held on Wednesday 26 th September 2018, addressed sociocultural

issues related to workplace literacy, which is very relevant to today’s workplace

environment in order to function efficiently and to form an effective inclusive team.

Emerging challenges were addressed in small working groups and possible strategic

priorities were also identified.

The second workshop, held on Wednesday 3 rd October 2018 then homed in on previously

identified main strategic priorities and, in small groups, the competitive advantages in the

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fields relevant to the participants were discussed. This will now be followed by a third

workshop that will take place on Wednesday 7 th November 2018, which will discuss

applicable changes relevant for fostering an effective inclusive work environment and will

look into a feasible vision for the future relevant to the attendees’ respective organisations

and businesses.

The FHRD staff, hose offices are based in Sliema, have generously agreed to support us in

this project and have offered us their training room for the workshops to be held in.

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A National Action Plan on CSR for Malta

Our most recent project revolves around the creation of a National Action Plan on

Corporate Social Responsibility for Malta. Malta is the only country in the European Union

that does not have a CSR strategy or action plan, however, now, thanks to the Malta

Community Chest Fund Foundation, we have been awarded funds to carry out this much

needed project.

Businesses are the driving forces behind economic growth and it is they that can do the

most in establishing a more sustainable society through their actions and business models.

Businesses cannot think solely of making profit without being responsible enterprises.

Slowly, such businesses are starting to realise that CSR does indeed benefit them and their

community, which are also their clients, in the end. Unfortunately, at the moment, however,

there is no set of guidelines or a strategy which companies and their employers and

employees can follow.

The overall aim of the project is to create a national CSR action plan, which would then be

adopted by businesses, including SMEs. Thus, businesses will be encouraged to become

more responsible and sustainable.

The specific objectives of the project are the following:

1) Finding out which businesses have a CSR strategy in place and which CSR initiatives or

actions are priorities for Malta. A further objective will then be of raising more awareness

among the business sector, local government, and civil society on CSR.

2) The research will help in drafting and, then, finalising a National Action Plan on CSR for

Malta. This plan will give guidelines to Maltese businesses on how to become more engaged

in their local communities and on how to become more responsible and sustainable.

3) The National Action Plan will be made available to businesses, especially those that have

not yet set up a CSR strategy and will encourage them to change their behaviour and model

to favour a more responsible sustainable approach.

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For the project to be successful, there will be the creation of an online space, which will be

accessible to all and will give more insight on the National Action Plan as well as on any CSR

initiatives being done in Malta. This online space will be used by any entity or business in

Malta to post or comment about any initiatives or ideas they are doing or plan on doing.

Apart from the online space, there will be a campaign that will raise more awareness about

CSR and will get people more involved and engaged in the project.

In addition, a number of stakeholder meetings with government ministries, local entities

and businesses will be held, together with workshops, which will all contribute to the final

development and creation of the National Action Plan on CSR for Malta. This plan will

ultimately benefit all the business community and society as a whole.

We have already employed a research service provider who carried out a nation-wide

mapping exercise and are currently consulting with Mr Gordon Cordina, who is helping us in

the project. Mr Cordina will also be drafting the CSR national action plan.

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European Projects

EUTalent

CORE Platform is one of 13 National

Partner Organisations engaged in the

CSR Europe-led EUTalent project.

The main objective of this Erasmus+

funded project is to involve and encourage Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to offer

more, and better quality, apprenticeships.

SMEs play a big role in today's economy, especially in countries like Malta, which depend

heavily on them. SMEs have a lot of potential when it comes to the provision of

development and employment

opportunities, as well as apprenticeships.

The problem here is that, very often,

SMEs lack the sufficient information,

resources, and experience to provide high

quality apprenticeships. To support SMEs

this EUTalent project aims to create

support structures in the form of European and national learning networks.

The main aims of this project include:

Increasing awareness on the benefits of apprenticeships,

Increasing opportunities for uptake of apprenticeships,

Improving the quality of the apprenticeships,

Identifying and removing policy obstacles to engage in apprenticeships.

EUTalent offers a number of benefits to businesses. These include, among other things,

enhancing the reputation of the employer and business, as well as attracting, and making

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the most of, new and diverse talent, whilst equipping youngsters with the necessary skills

for the current labour market. This will then lead to easier access of talented potential

employees.

As part of the project, CORE Platform

organised two stakeholder meetings,

that took place at the Malta Chamber

of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry

on the 26 th of April 2017 and 2 nd of

July 2018 respectively.

Apart from this, through the

help of MCAST, we organised

four webinars with

stakeholders

apprentices.

and

In addition to the above,

CORE Platform managed to

gather a number of SMEs

that agreed to share their best practices with us and with CSR Europe. Our work in the

project will help in drafting a National Policy Report on apprenticeships to highlight what is

being done, what is missing, and the ways forward.

As a final remark, we have to thank the Ministry for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs, and

Civil Liberties for co-financing the project. Without the support of these entities and

stakeholders, this project would not have been a success.

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The Executive Committee of CORE Platform is comprised of the Malta Chamber of

Commerce, Enterprise and Industry (President and Treasurer), GRTU – Chamber of SMEs

(Secretary), SOS Malta, the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association, the Malta

Employers' Association, the Malta Business Bureau, BoV Foundation, TUMAS Foundation,

Farsons Foundation, and AX Holdings Ltd.

GET IN TOUCH

The address of CORE Platform is:

c/o The Malta Chamber of Commerce,

Enterprise and Industry,

The Exchange Buildings,

Republic Street

Valletta, VLT 1117

Malta

You can find CORE Platform's website by following this link: http://www.core.org.mt/

Our Facebook page can be accessed by following this link:

https://www.facebook.com/COREPlatformMalta/

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