The Lino Spiteri Foundation was set up as a direct consequence of the need for a concerted multi-lateral approach to improving the employability and employment of persons facing long-term unemployment. It honours the late Lino Spiteri (above photo) who was a prime mover in the inclusion of persons with a disability through is various roles, both private and public. The foundation seeks to bring together government, NGOs, employers, individuals and their families to create opportunities and choice for employment in all sectors of the economy. It’s creation is timely, and coincides with the governments stance on inclusive employment for persons with a disability, requiring companies to increase their inclusion in their workforce.
Whilst the Foundation aims to tackle a situation that has not changed since the 1969 legislation, the aim remains to ensure that the stakeholders and beneficiaries of the foundation remain central to its’ decision-making. The trustees include parents of both physical and intellectual disabilities, as well as experienced business leaders, legislators and carers. Through the advisory council we aim to ensure that the voice of the vulnerable and excluded is not only listened to, but drives the strategic direction of the foundation.
The Foundation aims to support the training, job-skills and matching as well as on-the-job support of persons with a disability through a dedicated team of experts, coaches and social entrepreneurs, and create opportunities for sustainable and gainful employment through partnerships and social enterprise. The foundation will extend beyond the disability sector so as to include other vulnerable members of society including persons with mental health problems, and other vulnerable groups.
The Foundation is a public social partnership between the Employment and Training Corporation (ETC) and Empower, a leading cooperative that employs persons with disability in collaboration with the corporate sector. This partnership aims to draw on the resources of the ETC and provide the experience and expertise of the corporate sector to create employment opportunities. The Foundation will also include an advisory council made up of NGOs that currently provide employment training and support to vulnerable groups. The NGOs invited to the council include the Richmond Foundation, The Inspire Foundation, and other organisations, individuals and stakeholders supporting the sector. The aim of this council is to guide and advise on the strategic direction of the Foundation, and will be chaired by one of the founding directors of the Foundation to ensure an immediate relay of communication for implementation.
The Foundation honours the late Mr Spiteri who has been a prime mover, champion and instrumental leader in the inclusion of persons with a disability through his role as Inspire President, writer and member of parliament. Mr Spiteri led the review of inclusive education and the report that bears his name led to the mainstreaming of children with disabilities in classrooms across the country, and the investment in resources to support children with learning disabilities and difficulties in our schools.
His role as a trustee and president of the board at Inspire further encouraged inclusion of youth and adults in work, enabling their potential through training and skills development, independent living activities and social inclusion.