The skills gap is the difference between what industries are requiring and what the countries provide, stated Mr.Camilleri at the FHRD Workshop 2018.
‘Other factors which mitigate the skills gap is the skilled migration, as the number of global migrants who are well educated has increased’
Is this all bad news? Thankfully not, says Mr.Camilleri. He went on to say that there are some factors mitigating this, the first being female worker participation. Specific the world over, this is particularly felt in Malta, especially during the last five to ten years, where it has made a huge difference in terms of availability of labour. Although the Maltese female participation rate is not good enough, it is certainly much better than it used to be, yet this factor is mitigating the shortage. Giving an example, Mr.Camilleri mentioned accounting positions in Malta, where the balance has really equalised and in some instances even exceeded in favour of the female number.
‘While digital innovation is making some jobs redundant, it is actually generating plenty more jobs which require new skills.’
Other factors which mitigate the skills gap is the skilled migration, as the number of global migrants who are well educated has increased, with the only negative issue being that these individuals are usually concentrated in a small number of countries. In addition, Mr.Camilleri also covered factors relating to new working trends and widespread availability of mobile bandwidth and social networking sites, as well as the growing numbers of Gig workers, roles of which have grown 400% more than permanent ones in the last five years.
‘It is therefore the responsibility of educators to continuously match the trends and requirements of this fast-changing world’
Moving on to the drivers for shortages, Mr. Camilleri outlined the main points. Firstly, the shrinking of the working age population which means that baby-boomers are retiring, with the rate of retirement set to accelerate in 2020, thus resulting in a vast decrease of people in labour year by year. Secondly, the inability on the education sectors to follow what their economies are needing is another drive to the shortages of required skill on the market. In Mr. Camilleri’s opinion, this is becoming tougher because the world has not digitalised very quickly, and is also becoming more complex very quickly. Whilst many publications go on about AI and disruptive technology in Banking and Finance, although this may be threatening some jobs, the reality is that while digital innovation is making some jobs redundant, it is actually generating plenty more jobs which require new skills. For instance, one can take a look at the ever-changing role of the accountant brought about through digital innovation, as well as the projected increase in career opportunities in software development, primarily in the fields of Blockchain development and Fintech developers.
On an important note, Mr. Camilleri stressed that it is therefore the responsibility of educators to continuously match the trends and requirements of this fast-changing world in order to generate individuals who possess the needed skills and knowledge to satisfy the market demand.
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