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MT 27 March 2016

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42 Events maltatoday, SUNDAY, 27 MARCH 2016 The National Commission for Fur- ther and Higher Education (NCF- HE) has recognised The Prince's Trust's xl Programme in Personal Development and Employability at the respective level of the Malta Qualifications Framework. Earlier in November, Malta be- came the first country outside of the UK to implement The Prince's Trust's renowned xl Programme, on the behest and sponsorship of HSBC Malta. The qualification of the xl Pro- gramme into the MQF will ensure that the skills and qualifications young people achieve through xl programme are acknowledged and awarded within the Maltese con- text. Currently, over 100 young people from seven secondary schools and alternative education providers are participating in the xl Programme. All seven centres attended a recent internal verification where they received further training and feed- back on the portfolios that their students produced. This was a fan- tastic networking opportunity for those involved and it highlighted the positive approach to the xl Pro- gramme by both young people, xl mentors and schools. Natasha Rushe, Programme Manager, xl Programme Malta said: "News of the success of the xl Programme has spread to other schools within Malta, who are keen to learn more and potentially regis- ter for delivery in the next academic year." "With the continued support of funders HSBC Malta and the Min- istry for Education and Employ- ment (MEDE) we are optimistic that the xl Programme will be de- livered by secondary schools on a national basis," she added. In the meantime, post second- ary institutions in Malta are cur- rently finalising a Memorandum of Understanding with MEDE in which they agree to recognise the skills and qualifications achieved by young people completing the xl Programme and qualification. Minister for Education Evarist Bartolo said: "The young people benefitting from this programme are getting important skills that will help them progress in their educational path. These initiatives truly change lives for the better." HSBC Malta Foundation is ex- tending a grant of €300,000 over a period of three years to Prince's Trust International, as part of the HSBC's USD150 million Commu- nity Fund. HSBC Bank Malta CEO Andrew Beane said: "The HSBC Malta Foundation works to make long term social investments and form partnerships rather than simply make donations. Our latest part- nership bringing together the Ministry for Education and The Prince's Trust is yet another exam- ple of banks serving the role of con- necters and enablers." The Prince's Trust International is The Prince's Trust's sister char- ity. The Prince's Trust helps disad- vantaged young people in the UK to get their lives on track. Founded by HRH The Prince of Wales in 1976, this year it is celebrating 40 years of supporting 13 to 30 year-olds who are unemployed and those strug- gling at school and at risk of exclu- sion. Coldwell Banker: Fulfilling the dream of home since 1906 Buying or selling a home is one of the most, if not the single most important transaction that we all have to carry out at one point or another during our lifetime. Coldwell Banker has been suc- cessfully helping people to buy and sell homes for over a century now. With a global presence of over 86,000 property consultants and 3,000 independently owned and operated franchised broker offices in 43 countries and terri- tories around the world, Coldwell Banker is a truly dominant force in the international sphere of re- al estate. With industry-leading tools and the savviest pros in the business, Coldwell Banker's mis- sion is the same as it was over a century ago: to ethically and hon- estly serve clients so that they can achieve the dream of home. Coldwell Banker Paramount Re- alty, based in Attard, Malta is cur- rently looking for entrepreneurial individuals who are willing to take up a challenge and excel in the competitive real estate services industry. Experienced real estate agents or sensara are also wel- come to apply. Coldwell Banker property consultants are provided with a very competitive support package, which ranks amongst the top in the local industry. For more information visit www. coldwel lban or call 7903 2890. One may also wish to visit Coldwell Banker Paramount Realty's office in Triq il-Pitkali, Attard. A record year for Frank Salt Real Estate Frank Salt Real Estate has for the third consecutive year registered another record year, with an in- crease of over 40% in sales reve- nue in 2015, following an increase of 48% in 2014. Overall gross profit for the company increased by over 30%. This was reported during the company's annual general conference, held earlier this month at the Corinthia St Georges Bay Hotel. In the opening statement, company chairman Frank Salt thanked all members of Frank Salt Real Estate for making this a record year for the company. Darren De Domenico, Chief Op- erations Officer, also thanked all the team for their contribution to make 2015 such a successful year where the company registered impressive growth in every divi- sion. 2015 has also been a record year for the company's letting division, which registered an overall in- crease in revenue of 21%. Malta- holidaylets, which was created to promote and manage short lets, also registered its best year ever with an increase of 66% in reve- nue. The biggest increase in sales was registered in the second time buyer market and in sales of prop- erty for investment purposes. Average commission paid to its consultant also increased by a further 20% and today the aver- age commission paid to the com- pany's consultants is guaranteed to be amongst the highest on the market. Overall branch and divi- sion results surpassed set targets, which had already been revised upwards in June to reflect the in- creased market activity. Amongst its 14 branches, the top revenue contributors for the company were the Sliema branch, followed by St. Julians and Fgura respec- tively. During 2015, the company con- tinued to focus and invest in the permanent residency and citizen- ship markets, so much so that an increase of 21% in number of sales was registered over the previous year, which also contributed to the success achieved in terms of sales to foreign buyers. The most sought after locations this year were St. Paul's Bay and Mellieha where sales to foreigners doubled when compared to 2014. Activity in Marsascala, Valletta and the three cities also increased substantially. During the Annual General Conference, the Fgura branch was announced as Frank Salt Re- al Estate's Best Branch for 2015, whilst Paul Bondin from the same branch and Matthew Butti- gieg from the St Paul's Bay branch were recognised as Best Sales and Letting consultants respectively. The Annual General Confer- ence ended with a standing ova- tion, when the new company logo was unveiled. During its presen- tation Darren DeDomenico high- lighted that Frank Salt Real Estate have evolved a great deal since the company's founder Frank Salt started his journey as an estate agent 47 years ago. "We have not only grown into the leading agen- cy on the island, but remain the most trusted in the industry, re- nowned for our professionalism and unparalleled level of service The new logo is more than than just a modernized logo. It reflects our unwavering commitment to- wards our clients and our ambi- tion to drive forward and lead the industry. It represents the combi- nation of excitement, individual- ity and dedication that's at the heart of each and every member of our growing team." HSBC sponsored Prince's Trust xl programme Curtain rises on 10th International Spring Orchestra Festival This year, the International Spring Orchestra Festival (ISOF) is open- ing with an exciting concert on Fri- day 1 April at the Manoel Theatre, with a varied programme featur- ing the world-touring European Union Chamber Orchestra and its esteemed conductor Hans-Peter Hofmann, soprano Miriam Cauchi, and violinist Minha Park, who will bring to life pieces by Gustav Holst, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Joseph Vella, and Benjamin Britten. The idea behind the International Spring Orchestra Festival, which this year is celebrating its 10th anni- versary, is to create, year in year out, a special event where established lo- cal artistes gather with guest stars coming from the four corners of the globe to make music of the highest quality together, and where the au- dience comes to expand its musical horizons in an exciting and artis- tic environment. For the Festival's Opening Concert, this melting pot is reflected in the eclectic pro- gramme. The first piece will be Gustav Holst's St Paul's Suite, which the English composer completed in 1913. Up next will be Wolfgang Ama- deus Mozart's Violin Concerto No 5. In 1775, between April and De- cember, Mozart composed five vio- lin concerti (and possibly two more) which, along with the Concerto for Two Violins and Orchestra and the Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola, collectively represent his en- tire output for violin in this genre. The third piece is called Dust on the Path. This work is a number of collected poems by Alistair Chalm- ers which in 2015 were set to music in a song cycle for Soprano and Or- chestra by Mro Joseph Vella. The fourth and last piece will be Benjamin Britten's Simple Sympho- ny op 4. Britten wrote the piece in 1934 at the age of 20, and despite it being a modest work, it gained him a large amount of popularity very quickly. This year the ISOF is introducing a new concept of pre-concert and post-concert events, with the idea of getting together to discuss mu- sic and anything else over fine food and drinks. For the opening concert event, patrons can choose to buy their concert tickets as part of a VIP Package, which includes a pre-con- cert glass of prosecco at Michael's in St George's Square, Valletta, to sip during a pre-concert talk. After the concert, there will be a stand-up gourmet event with free flowing wine, waiter service and a buffet of hot and cold items and very fine cheeses from Sicily, at the same venue. Here, patrons will have the unique opportunity to meet with the musicians and the artistic direc- tor of the Festival. The VIP Package is on sale for €55 per person (price includes concert premium seats tickets). Since this is for a limited audience, the package can only be reserved for pre-paid bookings by sending an email to ingrid@zerafa. co. The International Spring Orches- tra Festival's Opening Concert will be held at the Manoel Theatre, Val- letta on Friday April 1 at 8pm. For more information and for regular updates on events, visit the ISOF website at http://www.iso-festival. com. Tickets at €10, €15 and €20 (free for children 15 years and under and with a 50% discount to students and senior citizens) can be pur- chased from the theatre's website, through , or by sending an email to bookings@te- For telephone reservations please call 2124 6389. The organisers are offering the pos- sibility to purchase block tickets for the whole festival for €100.

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