People, skills, the collaboration between industry and education, and entrepreneurship were all discussed on the third day of this year’s Malta Future Realised week, organised by EY Malta.

Speakers from several industries discussed the findings of the Generate Youth Survey, a survey conducted among over 750 participants, from both Generation Z and millennials.

Research shows that 65 per cent of Genera­tion Z and 56 per cent of the millennials would prefer to be an entrepreneur rather than be employed by someone else. This shows an increase of five  and six per cent from the results recorded in 2020.

BOV’s chief retail banking officer Kenneth Farrugia said that these statistics are a positive sign that youth show ambitions of leadership, but that may not be enough for entrepreneurship to be attainable.

“It’s good to see that our younger generation want to be the employers, but these same people need to avail themselves of the plethora of certifications that can equip them with better mindsets to become entrepreneurs,” Farrugia said.

Kenneth Farrugia, BOV chief retail banking officerKenneth Farrugia, BOV chief retail banking officer

Financial literacy was remarked as a critical attribute for people to be capable of leading their own business.

“It all starts with developing a market offering, which then needs to be backed up by wise investment and a good level of financial literacy. From a banking perspective, we notice an improvement in financial literacy from the continuous shift to digital banking.”

Particularly since the start of the pandemic, the trend of digital banking has been growing exponentially while conversely, the volume of over-the-counter-transactions has been gradually declining.

“In fact, as of last September, the bank experienced a year-on-year 20 per cent increase in digital banking transactions, some of which also include digital batch payments from business clients. Between January and September, cheque usage reduced by 34 per cent when compared to the same period in 2020. We also recorded approximately two million mobile banking logins compared to the 1.45 million reported last year. These analytics show that people are more open to manage their finances innovatively, which in turn provides banks with more data to tailor better and more flexible products and service experience.”

The collaboration between industry and education was also mentioned, as some stated that a stronger collaboration bet­ween them is needed to ensure the BOV system evolves with the industry’s necessities.

“Are we doing enough? I think we’ve done a lot, but not enough. We have to build an ecosystem to enable our people to start or develop their own enterprise,” Farrugia concluded.

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