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Malta mission: member pushes to raise quality issues on island

27 June 2020

Jesmond Chetcuti links CIOB and maltese government in a bid to boost local industry.

A project manager in Malta is on a mission to raise standards in the construction industry there and to promote the values of membership and the CIOB.

Jesmond Chetcuti, who became a member of the CIOB last year, has single-handedly brought issues to the highest attention: the Maltese government.

Chetcuti spent almost 10 years working in the UK construction industry and on his return to Malta in 2014 the contrast in quality and standards spurred him into action.

“I felt it was my duty to bring the CIOB and what it represents to Malta,” explains Chetcuti.

“It is not easy. Luckily the minister for infrastructure and major projects, Hon. Ian Borg, is not only on the same wavelength but also supports the initiative 100 per cent.”

In February this year Chetcuti organised a meeting in Malta between the CIOB CEO Caroline Gumble and the minister.

“The meeting was a very positive one in which it was agreed that the vision of both parties is the same and, by joining forces, the aim of improving quality to the local industry could be even more accelerated,” he says.

One important factor that came out from this meeting was the lack of legal recognition of the project manager in Malta. The minister promised to rectify this anomaly and in the near future, the role of a construction project manager will be legally on par with the other professions within the same industry.

Since this meeting Chetcuti has been promoting the CIOB to the industry, explaining what the institute brings to the table.

“To date various meetings have taken place – Covid didn’t help as I had to reschedule everything and meet people in small groups – and in the coming months I am expecting that all this will bear its fruit and applications (locally) to join the CIOB will increase,” he says.

Chetcuti began his construction career aged 17 as an apprentice tradesman. By the age of 25 he had qualified as a surveyor working on various major projects on the island, from roads to hotels.

When Malta joined the EU, Chetcuti fulfilled an ambition to work abroad. He moved to Scotland, working as a surveyor and then building his engineering knowledge with civil works projects and training. He eventually worked with Graham Construction where he classes James Mulroy as the mentor that opened his eyes to quality and standards issues.

“He was my first project manager that through his unique way of management, showed you how things are done and more importantly why things are done like that and the repercussions if this didn’t happen,” he says.

“I owe everything to this company. I worked on schools, hospitals, historic buildings, you name it. I had the opportunity to work
with the best architects and engineers in the UK, where I continued to learn and develop.”

Because of family issues, Chetcuti had to return to Malta but this is when he decided to pursue CIOB membership and lobby for higher standards in Malta.