This week, the Malta Business Bureau (MBB) held an informational webinar in which it presented and discussed with Maltese businesses numerous European initiatives to tackle the labour and skills shortage crisis.

These aim to establish and refine the EU’s holistic approach to mobilise and upskill the workforce, particularly for sectors and job categories experiencing the most severe shortages, including healthcare, manufacturing, hospitality, and information technologies. The initiatives also aim to equip the future workforce with the necessary skills required for the twin transition, including by ensuring better traineeship standards, intra-EU mobility, and legal migration from third countries (the latter through a dedicated EU Talent Pool recruitment tool).

Alison Mizzi
Alison Mizzi, Malta Business Bureau President / Photo credit: Alan Carville

Kicking-off the event, MBB President Alison Mizzi highlighted the importance of the EU developing a resilient and future-proof labour market, which requires constant re-skilling and up-skilling cycles. Ms. Mizzi stated, “The EU must seek to bridge the gap between education and employment by ensuring fair, transparent, and high-quality traineeships that provide young people with essential skills and experience.” She also pointed out that the EU needs to look towards mobilising inactive groups, such as senior workers that require re-skilling, and third country nationals searching for employment opportunities in Europe that can fulfil roles that are experiencing shortages.

Lawrence Zammit / Atlas Insurance
Lawrence Zammit / Photo by Atlas Insurance

Lawrence Zammit, MISCO Founding Partner & Director, agreed that Member States need to strike a balance between economic resilience and social responsibility. “It is key to activate the under-represented people within the labour market, (to reach the EU objectives of an employment rate of at least 78%, and to have at least 60% of adults attending training courses every year by 2030),” he added.

Fabianne Ruggier / JA
Fabianne Ruggier, RSM Malta Director

Fabianne Ruggier, RSM Malta Director, advocated for the strategic utilisation of the ESF+ to encourage employers across the EU to enhance training opportunities for their workforce. She underscored the importance of boosting intra-EU labour mobility, and also the need to continue streamlining legal migration from third countries to address shortages in specific job categories. On the EU Talent Pool, Ms Ruggier stated that, “the EU must seek long-term collaboration with recruitment agencies to promote the platform while ensuring that all involved intermediaries are reputable and compliant with the law to protect third country applicants”.

The session was moderated by MBB Policy Advisor Michele Agius, who also presented the key components of the three EU policy initiatives.

The Malta Business Bureau is the EU business advisory of The Malta Chamber and the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association. It is also a partner of the Enterprise Europe Network.

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