MCAST apprentice students feel that their health and safety is being put at risk after they were notified that they must return back to work tomorrow.
Earlier today, students received an email which notified them that they will have to continue attending their apprenticeship placements at non-essential retail stores, and their employers, reopen tomorrow.
The sudden email has left many students feeling unsafe and insecure about having to go back to work especially when considering the fact that more cases of COVID-19 are being confirmed daily.
“This morning we were sent an email that due to the upcoming updates regarding the pandemic situation, with ‘effective immediately’ we are to show up to work like nothing happened,” said MCAST student Kurt Bezzina on Facebook.
“We were just told that we need to show up to work like nothing happened and adapt to the ‘new normal.’ Yes and I repeat Yes! We do have to adapt to the ‘new normal’ but at least if you’re going to resume the Apprenticeship make sure to include more guidelines for the students to follow, not just an email stating that we have to show up to work,” he continued.
Other students raised concerns about how using public transport to get to and from work also poses its health and safety risks…
MCAST’s sudden decision to send students back to their apprenticeship programs has proven problematic on multiple fronts.
Another major concern for students was the lack of consideration of those who live with high-risk or vulnerable people who will be put in an even riskier situation with students having to go out and attend their apprenticeship.
“This decision has been made with no consideration for our health and safety and a lot of other students that live with high-risk persons or have to use public transport feel that it is outrageous to be forced to choose between their health or compromising their academic results,” a student told Lovin Malta.
MCAST responded to student concerns by insisting that those who are or live with vulnerable people contact the institution and their employees with sufficient documenation.
“Students who are vulnerable or students who live with other people who are vulnerable are to contact both the employer and also MCAST including the reason why you are not able to continue your apprenticeship and also attach the health document provided by the government to prove your argument. In this case you are to follow the instructions given by the government and rest assured that you will not fail to proceed with your educational journey,” they said.
On the other hand, businesses too are finding it difficult to adjust to the new norm with some even refusing with new measures – labelling them as “ridiculous” and unnecessary.