The below is the speech given by Chris Vassallo Cesareo, The Malta Chamber President, during a skills session at the European Parliament of Enterprises in Brussels
New skills are continuously emerging whilst others are sunsetting especially in fast-paced industries undergoing digital transformations such as automisation and artificial intelligence.
Upskilling and reskilling have become an essential part of day-to-day business operations, and this requires an investment which may be significant for companies, especially SMEs, considering the cost-inflationary pressures that have eaten up an important size of their revenue in the last years.
In a tight labour market like the one we are experiencing today, hiring specialized employees may be a lengthy and costly process, especially if one must look beyond the EU into third countries’ labour market.
The private sector is keen on turning workplaces into learning centres to promote upskilling and reskilling of people, but it cannot face this challenging task on its own. EU funding towards training programmes, educational grants, and skills forecasting tools, are critical to complement and build on the investment already undertaken by business.
The competitiveness of EU companies is at stake and we must ensure that the right level of funding is available to secure the right skills set to shape the digital transition rather than be conditioned by it.