Byron Camilleri / Facebook

Prime Minister Robert Abela has stripped Clyde Caruana of the employment portfolio and given it to Byron Camilleri, he announced on Thursday afternoon, with the move being the latest consequence of the findings of the public inquiry into the death of Jean Paul Sofia.

In a press statement from the Office of the Prime Minister, Prime Minister Robert Abela has decided that the entities Identità and Jobsplus should be managed under the same Ministry.

Essentially, the criticism was brought upon the fact that Jobsplus doesn’t maintain a comprehensive list of active construction sites from contractors, meaning it is unable to carry out spot checks on the workers at these sites.

However, its press release, the Government insisted that, “this move aims to consolidate and coordinate the management of foreign workers within the Maltese labour market, in the most effective manner possible,” the Government explained.

After the change, Dr Camilleri will now serve as the Minister for Home Affairs, National Security and Employment.

“The efforts put into the labour market should continue to build on the work initiated and strengthened by Minister Clyde Caruana with the establishment and implementation of the national policy on labour market,” the Government commented.

It added that during recent months, the Government took direct and coordinated actions to strengthen the control on local authorities, increase quality and ensure that the Maltese labour market absorbs the workers in demand and not more.

In addition, the ‘Reform and Equality’ portfolio, formerly under Minister Camilleri’s wing, will now be shouldered by Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne, including Parliamentary Secretary Rebecca Buttigieg whose roles in the portfolio remain the same.

Now, Dr Fearne will serve as Minister for European Funds, Equality, Reforms and Social Dialogue.

“The action being taken today is primarily intended to strengthen the coordination between Government entities,” the statement concluded.

Therefore, going forward Minister Clyde Caruana will solely be responsible for the Finance portfolio.

As an economist, Minister Caruana was appointed in position in November 2020 under the leadership of Prime Minister Robert Abela.

Prior to his debut in Cabinet and Parliament, Minister Caruana held the position of Executive Chairman at JobsPlus from 2014 and 2018. He was later appointed as Chairperson of the same entity.

In addition, he is credited with being instrumental in the drafting of former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s national employment policy, where he formed part of Active Labour Market Policy Counselling and Action Committee between May 2013 and April 2014.

Indeed, Minister Caruana is credited as the main driver to implement Dr Muscat’s labour policies and reforms, most notably related to free childcare, In-work benefits, and others.

Prior to these roles, Minister Caruana worked at the National Statistics Office (August 2007 – September 2012). He also lectures in Economics, at the Faculty of Economics, Management and Accountancy at the University of Malta.

Minister Caruana has written papers and articles on the welfare state and the labour market, as well as related research and consultancy work.

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