Addressing the European Parliament for Enterprises (EPE), Malta Chamber Deputy President Mr David Xuereb said that societies and markets were being transformed through demographic phenomena and technological advancements.
“New technologies are emerging at an unprecedented pace yet education systems are simply failing to keep up. It is evident that securing Europe’s present and future relevance and competitiveness greatly depends on our ability to up-skill our human resources, particularly in STEM areas” Mr Xuereb said.
The Deputy President said that the European Union must collaborate to ensure that places of education and work adapt to such developments effectively in order to safeguard the continent’s competitiveness.
“Presently, Europe’s main competitors are reaping the significant benefits of large preparations and investments in STEM-related fields, while we are falling behind due to brain-drain and misused resources. We have a significant opportunity to transform the priceless human resources that are being lost to youth unemployment or skills mismatches into a new-found resource through ambitious investment.” Mr Xuereb noted.
In his address, Mr Xuereb also called for an effective strategy to marry STEM, with children’s compulsory education. He argued that these two initiatives may notably improve the EU’s supply of the new skills required to meet the demands of an ever-evolving society and economy.
The same session of the the European Parliament for Enterprises was also addressed by Malta Business Bureau President Mr. Simon De Cesare. The MBB President said that the European Union needed to build trust for deeper cooperation in completing long-term projects that will make it stronger and competitive on a global level.
“This process however needs to take account the current intrinsic differences in the level of development, and permanent big-small, and centre-periphery disparities of member states. Time is of the essence and we need to act now through implementation of structural reforms when they are affordable rather than too painful, and designed to avoid crises of the future not react to them” Mr De Cesare said.
“We also need a Union functioning through democratic and transparent institutions; and with economic competitiveness at the centre of its political vision, as the key for growth, investment and the creation of jobs” the MBB President concluded.
The EPE is a bi-ennial initiative co-organised by the European Parliament and Eurochambres.
The event consists of a plenary session at the European Parliament in Brussels, where entrepreneurs from allover Europe take over parliament for a day and run a simulated plenary session. This year’s event consisted of three different sessions in which the themes of Skills, Trade and the Future of Europe were discussed. A number of distinguished guests including Chief EU negotiator on BREXIT Michel Barnier and the President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani addressed those present.