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.
The Malta Employers’ Association held a special reception on 22nd February to mark the airing of the 250th episode in its popular weekly MEA TV programme as well as the 10th Anniversary since it first started producing the series. The event was symbolically held in the Ballroom of the Phoenicia Hotel where the first programmes were recorded.
Every individual participant throughout the 250 programmes – over 400 in all – was invited to the event which was addressed by the Parliamentary Secretary for Social Dialogue, Hon Andy Ellul (speech) and the Opposition Spokesperson Hon Claudette Buttigieg (speech).
Every individual participant throughout the 250 programmes – over 400 in all – was invited to the event which was addressed by the Parliamentary Secretary for Social Dialogue, Hon Andy Ellul and the Opposition Spokesperson Hon Claudette Buttigieg. Both guest speakers commended the MEA for their consistently strong, objective and well-researched contribution to the process of social dialogue in Malta, particularly through the participation of Director General, Joseph Farrugia.
The event also included brief interventions by the four TV personalities that presented the programme over the course of its history, namely Claire Agius, Amy Camilleri Zahra, Cynthia Zerafa and Edward Bonello who shared personal anecdotes about their contributions to the programme.
In her brief address, MEA President Ms Joanne Bondin said that the long list of subjects tackled over the course of the Series history is a reflection of Malta’s recent socio-economic history. In fact, the subjects discussed during MEA TV programmes is testament to the Islands’ rapid economic development. She reflected on the fact that at the time when MEA first embarked on this TV journey, it did not imagine it would be celebrating a milestone, 10 years down the line, which underlined the consistent relevance of the programme content to the business and general public.
Ms Bondin said that the success of the Series mirrored consistency and alignment with the Association’s Values and Principles to serve as a relevant, objective and credible Communicator of the rights and obligations pertaining to stakeholders all around.
The MEA President said that throughout the past 10 years, the TV Programme served to complement the MEA’s efforts in the field of social dialogue, particularly its active participation on MCESD and other national consultative fora.
Ms Bondin paid tribute to all the contributors of the programme and its success, the presenters, producers, technical people and MEA staff. She said that over the years, the programme gave excellent exposure to the Association by establishing a link between employers and the general public. The latter grew to better understand the business perspectives on sensitive socio-economic matters which affect companies’ competitiveness and the smooth of the functioning labour market. She thanked all stakeholders representatives for their contribution to the programme’s success and for discussing sensitive and controversial subjects in a respectful and constructive manner.
The MEA President also conveyed a special thanks to the numerous companies that supported the Programme along the years through their advertising and contributions. She expressed appreciation to management of Public Broadcasting Services for giving the MEA the unique opportunity to host this programme on Malta’s National TV Stations and naturally to the tens of thousands of televiewers who continuously gave the Association, their support and positive feedback.
On his part, Mr Joseph Farrugia said that the intention behind the MEA TV project was in line with the vision of the Association’s founder Mr Anthony Miceli-Farrugia. He shared a personal memoir with the gathering when he recounted that Mr Miceli-Farrugia has expressed a specific desire for the MEA to reach out with the public at large to explain the importance of alignment between employer and employee in the interest of national competitiveness.
Mr Farrugia explained that in line with the direction expressed by the MEA founder, he undertook to deliver a TV programme appealing to a wide audience, which seeks to discuss sensitive matters amongst stakeholders in a non-confrontational manner and which consistently seeks to explain often complicated issues in simple language to ensure it can be easily followed and understood even by those with limited knowledge on such issues.
The Association’s Director General paid tribute to all involved in the hard work that goes behind the planning, production and airing of each programme – a task, he said that goes beyond the Association’s main function of representing and supporting the management of member companies in matters pertaining to employment and industrial relations. Here he singled out the programmes coordinator Anton Vella and all MEA staff members, the various production teams and technical crews as well as all 400 participants and over. He said that the success of the project was due to these people’s professionalism, dedication and enthusiasm.
Mr Joseph Farrugia reminded the gathering of the international recognition enjoyed by the MEA TV Programme. In 2015 and 2017, he said, MEA won the National Enterprise Support Award, and as a result, it was eligible to participate in the European Enterprise Promotion Awards in both years. The Association, so far, remains the only organisation in the EU to have twice been ranked among the shortlist of top four projects. The projects were both based on the TV Programme as a catalyst for social dialogue.
Mr Farrugia said that the TV programme’s success galvanised him and the team to continue the project. He said he was equally determined to continue to actively serve the Association in the years to come for the MEA to carry on serving its members with enthusiasm and vigour.
Commemorative 250th TV publication
TVM news coverage
Gallery of photos
Click here to view a gallery of photos.
Read the Highlights of 2022 here.
A delegation from the Malta Employers’ Association attended the ILO conference in Geneva. This was the first time since 2020 that the conference was held physically at the Palais des Nations, which houses the United Nations in Geneva. During the plenary session of the 8th June, Mr. Joseph Farrugia addressed the conference on behalf of Maltese employers. The employers’ delegation consisting of Ms Joanne Bondin (MEA President), Mr Joseph Farrugia (MEA Director General) and Mr Kevin J Borg (MEA Consultant) was part of the national delegation that also included representatives from government and workers. Click here to read Mr. Farrugia’s address.
Read the Highlights of 2021 here.
In collaboration with Transport Malta and the Foundation for Transport, The Sunday Times of Malta issued a supplement regarding Green Transport on Sunday 28th November. This 40-page supplement focuses on greener transport, electromobility, sustainable mobility, and grants for electric vehicles, amongst others. The supplement may be accessed here.
On 28th September, Mr Joseph Farrugia, Director General of the Malta Employers’ Association together with Mr Joe Gerada the Managing Director of New Horizons Institute gave out the awards to the participants who successfully followed the level 5 Course on ‘Leading People at the Work Place’ and ‘Resolving Conflict and Mediation’. Mr Farrugia said that the feedback from industry about these courses was very good due to their practical application in real life work place situations. He said that the Association has been collaborating with New Horizons Institute for the last 4 years and shall be running the programmes again in 2022. Mr Gerada said that the programmes were mainly designed to impart skills which supervisors and managers can practice at their work place. He said that these programmes were meant to fill a gap in the training market where the participants acquire the skills how to lead and manage and not only obtain the knowledge about these things. A second important feature of the programmes is the fact that participants use the trainers on the courses as their consultants to discuss and evaluate situations which are important to them. This is done during and in between sessions. Therefore the course is not an end in itself but a means of building a professional relationship where the trainers assist the participants to develop in their role for the long run. Dr Clive Gerada, another trainer on the programme, said that the participants’ work experiences together with the case studies presented during the courses offered a realistic scenario of the challenges and opportunities that supervisors and managers have when leading others, effectively.
The 2022 courses in the series of ‘Leading People in the Work Place’ shall start in February, 2022. Further details can be obtained by calling the Malta Employers’ Association on 21222992.
Pictures show some of the successful participants awarded.
The Malta Employers’ Association is organising its national conference, being held virtually on Friday 18th June from 8:45-14:00hrs.
In collaboration with APS Bank, Atlas Insurance and EY, the MEA will be exploring measures on how to balance economic growth with quality of life.
Productive economic activity is essential to generate employment and income. Since gaining independence, Malta has elevated the economic well-being of its citizens through constant economic transformation that makes our economy open and diversified. EU accession has also contributed to an increase in living standards, GDP per capita in Malta has been approaching the EU average since Malta became a member.
GDP as a measure of well-being has limitations. It cannot factor in the extent of the underground economy, and non-market activities are not included in its measurement. Other limitations that are raising concerns among various segments of Maltese society are the link between GDP and the quality of life, and negative externalities. These are becoming more pronounced due to the Malta’s geographic limitations, compounded by a rapid increase in population over the past decade.
This conference will address the nature of these problems by identifying the challenges ahead with a view to making recommendations of how GDP growth can be managed to minimise the effect of negative externalities, and to harness productivity and economic growth towards the well-being of our society. The conference will be addressed by experts including economists, social partners and senior politicians. There will be full audience participation through discussions and workshops.
The full programme can be found HERE.
Registration is FREE of charge.
The Malta Employers’ Association has issued a survey report on ‘Sick Leave in Malta’ to provide a picture on the utilisation of sick leave by employees. The survey obtained data from 351 respondents covering more than 400 companies in Malta, spread across different economic sectors. This survey was conducted before the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, therefore the results do not reflect sick leave patterns resulting from the pandemic, but rather during times considered as ‘normal’.
Please find here the report.