[WATCH] Job vacancies taking up to eight weeks to fill due to skills shortage

Education minister: ‘Distinction between skills and qualifications needed’ • Skills survey reveals that word of mouth is the most used source for filling vacancies

Job vacancies taking up to eight weeks to fill due to skills shortage

It is important to start educating people on the distinction between skills and qualifications, and to promote the advantages of both from an early stage so that students can earn the right skills for their choice of career, education minister Evarist Bartolo said.

Bartolo said the approval by parliament on Tuesday of the setting up of a National Skills Council was an important step on a national level.

He stressed the importance of teaching children and teenagers how to follow a particular field of education to gain the necessary skills for any career they might choose to pursue.

He was addressing a seminar called to discuss the findings of the National Employee Skills Survey, carried out by the National Commission for Further and Higher Education with Jobsplus and Malta Enterprise.

The findings of the survey revealed that word of mouth was the most used source for recruitment in Malta, edging Jobsplus (formerly ETC) and social media.

It also became evident that most employees engaged with companies were professionals (16%), clerical support workers (14.5%) and associate professionals (14.2%).

Two-thirds of the respondents said that they employed female workers on a full-time basis while 35.8% employed female workers on a part-time basis.

And 29% of respondents said they employed foreigners on a full-time basis, mostly university graduates (46%).

The survey identified some vacancies, such as those for craft and related trade workers, professionals, technicians and service workers, that took very long – up to 8 weeks – to fill.

Economy minister Chris Cardona said the survey had provided vital data since skills shortage reduced competitiveness and would hinder Malta’s economy.

Most of the 20,000 jobs created in the last three years were related to the service and technical sectors, he said, noting that this was possible through various initiatives introduced by the administration, such as universal free childcare.

“It is clear we have our work cut out, and we must all raise our game, but I am confident that we will all take the right decisions,” he said.

The survey report said that the highest increase in recruitment in the next 12 months was expected to be of clerical support workers (22%), service and sales workers (21%) and professionals (18%).

Elementary occupations, skilled agricultural and fisheries workers, and plant and machine operators were the sectors that would see the least increase in recruitment in the next 12 months.

39.4% of respondents  stated that only basic level qualifications (MQF levels 1 to 3) were required especially in the services and sales sectors.
When asked their preference, 56.9% of employers said they gound traineeships useful while 52.7% viewed apprenticeships as useful.

The survey revealed that 48.6% of all job terminations were de to voluntary resignation, followed by termination during probation (13.6%) and end of contract (12.1%).

Employers forecast there will be around 500 terminations within the next 12 months, with 75% posts expected to be replaced.

In the last three years, on the other hand, there had been 2,873 terminations with only 44.6% being replaced.

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