Joanne Bondin referred to the report of the ILO Director General on the fourth Industrial Revolution through which emerging technologies offer scope for investment in high skilled areas with prospects for quality jobs.
This, said Ms Bondin, shines a beacon for Malta to follow, particularly as it is feeling the need to re-think strategically and design an economic transformation that strikes a sustainable balance between wealth generation and improving the quality of life in line with ESG principles and the UN’s own Sustainable Development Goals.
In line with topical discussions being held at the 111th Session of the ILO Conference, the MEA President referred to the concept of “Just Transition” which she described as “also very relevant to the Maltese context” as well as to a discussion on apprenticeship which is applicable to the present Maltese socio-economic realities as it aims to reduce the number of NEETs and guide them towards vocational training that lead towards productive jobs.
Ms Bondin declared that the MEA supports a labour market that offers protection against informality and discrimination. She said that “labour protection serves to level the playing field and contributes to sustainable enterprises, productivity gains and economic development. This resonates the recurrent discussion within the ILO Committee on Social Protection which concluded that “Sustainable enterprises, as generators of employment and promoters of innovation and decent work, contribute to labour protection, productivity increases and a well-functioning and productive economy.”
The MEA President said that whilst it is evident that the country is doing reasonably well as measured by basic macroeconomic indicators, such success is impinging on the environment in the widest sense of the word. This, in turn, is causing a deterioration in the morale and well-being of our workers which is crucial to long-term competitiveness. Clearly, she said that economic prosperity ought to be more neutral in terms of its impacts on infrastructure, pollution, congestion and natural resources. In this context, the fourth industrial revolution represents a more sustainable path to future economic growth as it is based on higher value, less labour-intensive activities.
Click here to read the full speech.