So­lu­tions to labour mar­ket chal­lenges pre­sented to Cab­i­net

Cur­rent labour mar­ket sit­u­a­tion could threaten pro­duc­tiv­ity and com­pet­i­tive­ness.

The Malta Business Weekly - - FRONT PAGE -

“The Cham­ber of Com­merce took a pro-ac­tive ap­proach to a prob­lem which is af­fect­ing the day-to-day op­er­a­tion of thou­sands of busi­nesses in Malta, which are find­ing it in­creas­ingly dif­fi­cult to iden­tify and em­ploy the nec­es­sary hu­man re­sources for their grow­ing op­er­a­tions,” said the pres­i­dent, Frank V. Far­ru­gia as he led a del­e­ga­tion to Cab­i­net on Tues­day, to pro­pose so­lu­tions to the cur­rent labour mar­ket chal­lenges.

Ad­di­tional ac­tive labour mar­ket poli­cies, fur­ther in­cen­tivis­ing ac­tive age­ing, skills au­dits, re­forms to the coun­try’s ed­u­ca­tion cur­ric­ula, fa­cil­i­ta­tion of re­cruit­ment of for­eign na­tion­als and an in­ter­na­tional mar­ket­ing cam­paign show­cas­ing em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties in Malta were among the so­lu­tions pro­posed by the Malta Cham­ber.

The Labour Mar­ket in 2018 and beyond Demographics and trends char­ac­ter­is­ing Malta’s labour mar­ket and work­able pro­pos­als to al­le­vi­ate labour gap pres­sures was com­piled by the Pol­icy Unit within the Malta Cham­ber, with the aim to pro­pose so­lu­tions to the coun­try’s pol­icy-mak­ers on the sub­ject mat­ter.

De­liv­er­ing his pre­sen­ta­tion to cab­i­net, Nigel Mif­sud, Pol­icy ex­ec­u­tive, ex­plained how the chal­lenges most rel­e­vant to the busi­ness com­mu­nity, as a re­sult of the year-on-year growth ex­pe­ri­enced by the econ­omy, were the present labour mar­ket con­di­tions.

“Malta presently has the largest labour force in its his­tory, a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in the do­mes­tic sup­ply of pro­duc­tive hours, the largest co­hort of for­eign work­ers and the low­est level of un­em­ploy­ment rates. De­spite this, Malta’s em­ploy­ers face a se­vere lack of labour sup­ply, fur­ther ag­gra­vated by fall­ing lev­els of pro­duc­tiv­ity,” Mif­sud said.

“The re­port pro­vides pol­i­cy­mak­ers with a blue print of ef­fec­tive poli­cies de­signed to en­sure that the most fun­da­men­tal re­source re­quired for con­tin­ued and sus­tain­able eco­nomic growth is read­ily avail­able and well- equipped with the many di­verse skillsets re­quired by Malta’s econ­omy,” he ex­plained.

Mif­sud noted how the re­port ex­am­ines a num­ber of statis­tics, such as birth rate, re­tire­ment rates, ed­u­ca­tion statis­tics, labour mar­ket par­tic­i­pa­tion and re­tire­ment rates, among oth­ers. The ex­er­cise re­vealed that around 2,000 – 3,000 job op­por­tu­ni­ties were re­main­ing un­tapped each year. “There­fore,” Mif­sud ex­plained, “while Mal­tese work­ers re­main the first pref­er­ence, we have a sit­u­a­tion in which the coun­try is un­able to de­pend on its own re­sources to meet the de­mands of the econ­omy. This may threaten sus­tain­able growth,” Mif­sud warned.

The doc­u­ment pre­sented on Tues­day, proac­tively pro­vides a pol­icy blue­print with the so­lu­tions to these chal­lenges.

The del­e­ga­tion was led by the Cham­ber pres­i­dent Frank V. Far­ru­gia, who was flanked by Chris Vas­sallo Ce­sareo, chair­man of the Im­porters Eco­nomic Group; Patrick Cachia, chair­man of the Man­u­fac­tur­ers Eco­nomic Group; Matthew Sullivan, chair­man of the Ser­vices Eco­nomic Group; Kevin J. Borg, di­rec­tor gen­eral; Andre Fenech, head of Pol­icy and Nigel Mif­sud, Pol­icy ex­ec­u­tive.

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