When Jesmond Chetcuti returned to Malta in 2015 after 10 years plying his trade in the construction industry in the UK, he found that the industry locally was far inferior to what he had grown used to.
This forced him to make a choice. He could go right back to the UK, compromise on his values of quality and enter the local industry how it is, or try to make a change.
Being how he is, he tells BusinessNow.mt, he decided on improving the local industry from the inside.
Thus, the idea for what would become the Malta Chamber of Construction Management (MCCM) was born.
After more than a year in the works, which included meetings with cabinet members, including Infrastructure Minister Ian Borg, the MCCM gained official legal recognition on 2nd March.
With its establishment, construction project managers in Malta who are already skilled, experienced and qualified, gain recognition much in the same way that architects and engineers are warranted as periti and inginier.
The MCCM’s membership structure is going to be formed on a three-tier membership format, based on experience and education.
Mr Chetcuti explains that in the future, the Construction Management Chamber wants a diploma to be an absolute minimum requirement for construction managers.
It might be new to Malta, but this framework, he says, is tried and tested in other countries; “We are basing it on the UK system, which we’ve adapted to the local requirements”.
Aside from the professional and legal recognition from the Government warranting process, Mr Chetcuti says that there will also be continuous development because, as things stand, construction managers just get a degree or diploma and then stop their education there.
To earn and keep a warrant, construction managers will need to be continuously developing through short courses, for example.
By doing so, the organisation provides its members with a goal and a target for professional development, bringing a higher overall quality of management to Malta’s construction industry.
Asked how this will affect the public’s experience with the construction industry in Malta, he says that “many people don’t realise that the success of a project depends a lot on the quality of the management”.
A manager’s training and experience, he explains, is disseminated downwards through the workers, bringing improvements in terms of budget, construction quality and the time scale of the project.
“Everyone will gain from this”, he emphasises. “Good management could mean that a project that would otherwise take two years could take only one”.
The process of setting up the MCCM was naturally disrupted by the COVID pandemic. Numerous meetings had to be rearranged with the arrival in Malta, with Mr Chetcutti having to split what might otherwise having been one meeting with 30 or so attendants into six of seven meetings.
Since then though, Mr Chetcuti acknowledges that there has been a silver lining to changing working conditions, allowing him to attend back-to-back meetings, saving him both time and effort.
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