Fabian Demicoli

It‘s time to think about skills


We have been for years hearing
about the issue of skills mismatch, which is indeed a real concern and has
proved to be a challenge that has limited the advancement of our enterprises
and that of our workers.

Skills mismatch is the
situation where enterprises do not find individuals with the right skills to
employ. This is mainly the result of lack of communication between the world of
education and the world of work. We sometimes take this relationship for
granted however a conscious effort has to be made to bring the two worlds
closer together.

There are a number of
options available to tackle the issue and it is good news that Government is
looking into the best options with the collaboration of social partners. A lot
of background work is currently being undertaken in this respect. One issue the
Government and employers representatives are looking into is the establishment
of skills councils.

Skills Councils are
independent, employer-led organizations that are committed to working in
partnership to create the conditions for increased employer investment in
skills which will drive enterprise and create jobs and sustainable economic
growth. Their remit is also to produce high quality information on emerging
demands for skills in the labour market, identify skills gaps develop
occupational standards and qualifications, career awareness materials and help
teachers and trainers in their guidance of students.

We share the belief that
the sectoral approach is the most effective way to do this. Through their
sectoral reach, Sectoral Skills Councils are ideally placed to articulate the
voice of employers on skills; to develop innovative skills solutions and to
galvanise employer ambition and investment in skills and job creation. In doing
so, they are key strategic partners in creating the conditions for increased
investment in skills.

GRTU following
consultation with members has already identified specific sectors where skills
councils are required these include commerce, the green economy, crafts,
laundry and dry cleaning, hairdressing, meat processing, printing and
strategically important economic sectors.

Research on this subject
is currently being undertaken. Anyone interested in having their sector
included or having ideas in this regard should contact GRTU.

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