Employment gap challenges should be resolved in a holistic way – Cyrus Engerer

The challenge of labour gaps around the European Union should be resolved in a holistic way, Member of the European Parliament Cyrus Engerer said.

“We need to attract all the talent to Europe that we need, we need to see that workers’ rights are being protected and we need to ensure that different communities are equipped to work together,” Engerer added.

The MEP is the negotiator on legal migration policy and law for the Socialists and Democrats political party in the European Union. He has conducted an EU-wide stakeholder consultation where he met businesses, NGOs, academics and Unions “to hear actual issues on the ground that are currently being faced in the European Union, which is the continent seeing the biggest decline in population across the world,” Engerer explained.

“As I have stated in these meetings, the European Union is losing out in the global competition for talent and many labour gaps are now more evident than before,” he said.

The discussion on plugging labour gaps comes as 77% of businesses reported having trouble finding workers. According to a study commissioned by the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Malta’s businesses are facing a staffing crisis after a large number of foreigners left the island because of the pandemic.

The study found that most of the 199 respondents (61%) believed hiring challenges were limiting their company’s ability to operate at full capacity. Over half (64%) admitted that they believed their staff were leaving to look for higher salaries. Despite this, less than 40% said they planned to increase wages. Instead, 45% said they planned to handle the staff shortage by developing the existing workforce.

More than 40% of respondents said skilled workers were the toughest to find.

The Chamber of SMEs also said that it has been inundated with reports from the catering industry that it was facing a staff shortage.

This article is part of a content series called Ewropej. This is a multi-newsroom initiative part-funded by the European Parliament to bring the work of the EP closer to the citizens of Malta and keep them informed about matters that affect their daily lives. This article reflects only the author’s view. The European Parliament is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.