The Malta Employers’ Association (MEA) last week met with President George Vella to discuss the skills required for Malta’s future competitiveness.

The meeting rounded off the MEA’s efforts during 2022 with the same theme. These efforts involved desk research, a series of working groups involving over 50 business stakeholders in four economic sectors, and a stakeholders session held at Parliament on 21st July 2022, with the participation of over 60 representatives of national entities.

The above initiatives led the MEA to make 13 key recommendations towards stimulating the availability of skills which are relevant to the labour market now and in the future.

These concrete recommendations are elaborated upon in the MEA’s latest publication, which aims to ensure lasting outcomes from its efforts and contributions made by business and national stakeholders’ representatives.

In presenting the publication, MEA President Joanne Bondin explained that, “As far as future skills are concerned, the country needs a clear strategy with practical solutions where key stakeholders work together towards a common objective”.

She emphasised the importance of education and engagement with young people in order to give them the right skills and guidance for their future careers. She said it was important to promote careers as opposed to jobs because the more people believe they are fulfilling a specific purpose in their lives through their careers, the more they are able to take pride in what they do.

“This will encourage them to invest more in themselves towards the achievement of higher personal goals and satisfaction because they believe that their current job is a milestone in their long-term professional journey.”

MEA director general Joseph Farrugia maintained that recruiting foreign workers is just “a convenient short-term measure to plug immediate shortages that employers have been experiencing”.

He also underlined the need for a strategy that embraces innovation and digital skills as a means to alleviate an over-dependence on foreign talent, adding that the explosion of the Maltese population is creating problems and externalities which are posing risks to the country’s sustainability and attractiveness.

President Vella expressed his sincere appreciation for the MEA’s latest efforts performed in fulfilment of its role to provide leadership, guidance and support to the business community.

The delegation led by Ms Joanne Bondin was further composed of MEA Council members, senior executives and collaborating stakeholders in the MEA project including Foundation for Transport and Identity Malta Agency.

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