Placements on government ‘jobs-for-votes’ scheme doubles

Gozitans reach 44% of ‘jobless’ recruits


Enrolment in the Community Workers Scheme (CWS) hit a new high during the recent election as some 200 jobless people were added to a temporary program intended to retrain the long-term unemployed.

The latest figures published in parliament in response to a parliamentary question by Gozitan MP Chris Said revealed that 1,200 people are now benefitting from the scheme, twice as many as were enrolled when it began in 2015. More than 44% are residents of Gozo.

The scheme was introduced by Finance Minister Clyde Caruana in 2015 when he was CEO of Jobs Plus, with the goal of ‘training the long term unemployed find productive employment’.

Some 600 jobless people were transferred from the unemployment register to the CWS and given a full-time salary performing odd jobs at government schools, local councils and NGOs with little to no supervision.

Caruana had said the scheme was temporary and was designed to end when all those put on it found new jobs. Instead, the opposite happened.

An NAO report found that little or no training was provided, and that those working there have no real incentive to find alternative employment.

Although the financial compensation hovers around minimum wage, the ‘unofficial’ conditions allow ample time for beneficiaries to make an extra buck.

It’s an open secret, particularly in Gozo, that those on the scheme are present for a fraction of the 40-hour week they’re supposed to be working, and some don’t turn up at all. Many spend their time on private jobs such as home maintenance and construction, earning an extra often undeclared income on top of their monthly taxpayer-funded cheque.

Because the scheme is run by a General Workers Union foundation, which was given a multimillion euro government tender to administer it, the NSO classifies these jobless people as gainfully occupied in the private sector, allowing the government to boast that Malta has the lowest unemployment figures in the EU.

This CWS is costing taxpayers an estimated €20 million per year, with the GWU taking a cut in the form of management fees paid by the government for every member on the scheme.


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Joseph Tabone Adami
Joseph Tabone Adami
2 years ago

The photo under the caption was taken quite early in the morning – most probably about 9.00, judging from the length of the shadows cast.

I would wonder, however, if at around 11.00 the two gentlemen were still at their place of ’employment’ tending to the adjacent benches.

Last edited 2 years ago by Joseph Tabone Adami
2 years ago

Just another day in this dystopian Mafialand. Never ending.

2 years ago

Kindly note that these ‘workers’ spend less than one hour or non at their place of work from their supposed 8 hour work a day. These ‘workers’ leave their work paid by this scheme and go to work irregularly with other contractors and irregular self employment work . They are paid cash and of the books. – Black Economy and Money Laundering Galore – to the detriment of other regularised workers and self employed people in Gozo. These ‘workers’ are destroying the regularised workforce in Gozo.

joe tedesco
joe tedesco
2 years ago


Godfrey Leone Ganado
Godfrey Leone Ganado
2 years ago

This is why, in Gozo, the PL gets more votes than the PN.
This is why the GDP increases, and contributes to a lower National Debt ratio to GDP.
This is creative accounting, and proof that the formula for the computation of these statistics, is bulls, and needs to be realistically revised on a European level.
This is also proof that country rating levels determined by rating agencies, are based on fake statistics.

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