18 February 2004

Search all issues

powered by FreeFind

Send Your Feedback!

Galea promises national employment action plan by October
Education Minister Louis Galea yesterday outlined the government’s objectives behind a National Action Plan for Employment (NAP) which should be finalised by October.
The plan itself being one of the government’s commitments with the European Union, it sets targets to increase participation in the labour market, encourage more post-secondary students and streamline existing training programmes.
Dr Galea said yesterday that he was co-ordinating an inter-ministerial core committee to draw on strategies from different government agencies and corporations in setting up the plan. The government will also be consulting private enterprise.
“There are a lot of inactive citizens,” the minister said. “We have to increase the participation of the working sector of society to be able to contribute to all those who are dependent on welfare.”
This includes getting more women to work, he said.
According to EU employment targets, every member state should reach 70 per cent overall employment by 2010, coupled with a 60 per cent employment rate for women and 50 per cent employment rate for workers aged 55 and over.
The EU also seeks to have up to 85 per cent of 22-year-olds with post-secondary education in six years’ time; more than 12 per cent of all adults participating in lifelong learning and childcare places for at least 33 per cent of children under 3.
“On the one hand, less developed economies are catching up, on the other, our labour force and our economy is developing further and becoming relatively uncompetitive in certain product or service markets,” Dr Galea admitted.

The present unemployment situation is at 1998 levels, the minister said. “Since then, this country has been through enormous and crucial decision-making processes and global economic realities. We overcame the situations back then, and will overcome them again this time round.”
The NAP will be useful to explain how Malta intends to integrate its labour market with that of the EU, the minister added, as well as to evaluate the areas in which the government would need EU funding.
The plan should also announce a number of measures in line with European employment guidelines, including promoting job-creation, workers’ mobility, active ageing, transforming undeclared work into regular employment and addressing regional employment disparities.
“Our greatest challenge is to create jobs within the next 10 years as much as we created in the past 25 years,” Dr Galea said.

Copyright © Newsworks Ltd. Malta.
Editor: Saviour Balzan
The Malta Financial & Business Times, Newsworks Ltd, Vjal ir-Rihan, San Gwann
Tel: (356) 21382741-3, 21382745-6 | Fax: (356) 21385075 | E-mail