The highest demand for jobs in the next three years will be for clerical support workers and service/sales workers followed by professionals and trade workers, according to a National Employee Skills Survey for the EU's Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe.

The National Commission for Further and Higher Education (NCFHE), Jobsplus (the former ETC)) ​and Malta Enterprise​, conducted the research during the first quarter of 2016 among a representative sample of employers as part of the Erasmus+ project. It identified skills shortages and provided insights into the Maltese labour market.  

Angelique Dibben and Mario Cardona reported that around 40% of employers declared that they had recruited staff without work experience in the previous three years, most of whom had completed their studies in further or higher education. Around 50% of employers had recruited foreigners in the previous three years.     

The commonest sources used for recruitment were by word of mouth (20.9%), by notification through Jobsplus (19.9%), and through social media (15.8%).

Vacancies were mostly available for clerical support workers and professionals. Clerical support workers and service/sales workers were recorded as hard-to-fill vacancies. Vacancies for craft and related trade workers, professionals, technicians and service/sales workers took longest to fill.

The main reasons given to explain this shortfall included a lack of applicants with the required skills (56.2%), a lack of applicants with the required attitude or personality (43.7%) and a low number of applicants (37.7%). 

Written communication, technical skills, problem-solving and team-working resulted as the commonest skills that prospective applicants lacked for hard-to-fill vacancies.  These were also the skills that employers considered to be the most pertinent.

34% of employers stated that more than half of their employees held qualifications up to MQF level 4. In comparison, 13% and 16% of companies stated that more than half of their staff attained MQF level 5 and MQF level 6 respectively.  Respondents reported that 6% of their employees were overqualified whilst 8% were not fully proficient.

Overqualified personnel were mostly amongst professionals and clerical support workers whilst not fully proficient workers were technicians and associate professionals or in elementary occupations. Up-skilling appeared to be needed mostly in planning and organisation, customer handling, team-working and multitasking. 

Around 40% of employers provided on-the-job training whilst around 35% provided off-the-job training. Training was mostly job-specific, while 40.5% of it was not accredited. Three-quarters of employers did not allocate any funds for training. 


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