Further to the SMEs National Forum 2022 event and related to the MEA PROAction initiative, the MEA decided to present the information, data, best-practice and recommendations to the President of Malta with a view to receive his endorsement and request his patronage to future initiatives organised under the MEA PROAction project.
The decision to call solely on the President of the Republic was made in a conscious effort to ensure that this crucial message for the sustainable development of Malta would not be politicised during the middle of an electoral campaign.
Link to an electronic version of the publication.
As a continuation of the PROAction initiative, The Malta Employers Association was proud to present this publication which is the result of several months of work, research and discussion spread over a number of initiatives taking place between June-November 2022 with a view to “Ensuring the Skills for Future Competitiveness”.
The MEA responded to employers’ plight in the face of prolonged and acute shortage of workers and skills in the local labour market, which situation was brought about by several contributing factors. Amid concerns about the continuity, competitiveness and future of Maltese businesses the MEA sought to embark on a string of initiatives to map out a way forward to ensure that the labour market is aligned to the present and future needs of industry as the latter as companies embrace innovation and technology and prepare to digitalise their business-plans as they strive to mitigate their risks and render their businesses future-proof.
The research started in June with a series of Focus groups held to facilitate the collection of direct, detailed and frank opinions of employers regarding the extent, causes and possible solutions to the challenges at hand. Around 50 employers from as many companies participated in the 4 focus groups which covered the following business sectors:
- Professional Services & ICT,
- Tourism, Hospitality & Retail, and
- Manufacturing, Technical and Ancillary services
The outcome of the focus groups then fed into a Stakeholders Seminar held on 21st July in the Plenary Hall of Parliament during a special event presided by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dr Anglu Farrugia. The event brought together representatives from over 60 representatives of national entities and organisations with a remit in the areas of employment, training, education and other ancillary services within Malta’s labour market. These included Jobsplus, MCAST, Institute for Tourism Studies, Identity Malta Agency, MaritimeMT, Enemed, Malta Enterprise, Business First, Malta Business Registry, Malta Communications Authority, Eskills Malta Foundation and Foundation for Transport amongst others.
In all of this, the aim of the MEA was to create a structured and constructive dialogue between the private sector and all competent authorities to arrive at the necessary solutions together.
In the words of the MEA President Ms Joanne Bondin, “The country needs a clear strategy with practical solutions where key stakeholders work together towards a common objective”.
As part of the PROAction project, the above initiatives led the MEA to make 13 key recommendations towards reversing the factors which were identified to contribute to the shortage of skills. These recommendations were presented and discussed at the MEA’s 2022 SMEs National Forum which represented the apex of the Association’s events series themed “Ensuring the Skills for Future Competitiveness”. This flagship event which incorporated keynote speeches, workshops, videos and panel discussions served to outline the plans of public and private sector entities with a focus on bringing the 13 recommendations to fruition.
This publication elaborates on these recommendations and serves as documented evidence of the efforts expanded by the Malta Employers’ Association towards “Ensuring the Skills for Future Competitiveness”.