The European Centre for Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop) released the 2018 future skills forecast report for Malta. This report highlights the future skills supply and demand up to the year 2030. It forecasts employment growth, the skills mix, and which industries are set to see the largest increase in Malta. 

Malta saw a very strong increase in employment growth between 2011 and 2016 and it went way beyond the EU-28 average. Whilst employment growth won’t be as high, it is still forecast to be higher than the EU-28 average.

In fact the Cedefop is expecting Malta’s employment to grow by 11% between 2016 and 2030, a rate similar to that of Denmark. This leads to a very important question. What kind of future skills will be most in demand in the coming years? 

Employment growth is expected to extend across the whole of Malta with business and other services being the fastest growing sector between 2016 and 2021. This kind of growth signals the need for certain skills which, as technology advances are made, will be in higher demand: 

Tech savviness

This may seem like a given but technology is ever changing and always innovating. Both software and hardware are in constant evolution and not keeping up with the trends will definitely dent your opportunities. With new technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data and blockchain coming to the forefront in just the past few years, it is important to keep up with new trends. It is also important to have an eagerness to learn more about new tech. 

Creative and critical thinking

Once you have advanced tools it takes a creative and critical mind to do something truly amazing with them. Robots still cannot mimic human creativity. As with creative minds, critical minds can offer innovative solutions and they can solve complex problems. Fresh thinking will give companies the edge they need over their competitors. For this reason creative and critical minds will be something employers look for. 

Data literacy

We live in a world of data. Everything a consumer does on a website is tracked and recorded. But what is all this knowledge in the form of raw numbers mean to a company if they don’t have the resources to gain the insights they need? Not everyone needs to be a data scientist but there is a great need for more employees to be data literate.

This skill is the ability to extrapolates said data, then use it to make decisions for the better of the company. 

Leadership skills

Leaders are meant to inspire and make sure each employee is the best version of themselves. With a future workforce which puts more focus on teams, leaders will be an important piece of the puzzle. Furthermore, with the rise in more flexible work options, there will be the need for a person to make sure the team sticks together when working remotely. 

Emotional Intelligence

Also sometimes known as Emotional Quotient (EQ), emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, use and manage your own emotions as well as others. EQ helps you be a better communicator, empathise with others, relieve stress and even defuse conflict. It is already a skill which is very much in demand at the moment. According to Psychology Today “some employers have even incorporated emotional intelligence tests into their application and interview processes, on the theory that someone high in emotional intelligence would make a better leader or coworker.”

Developing your emotional intelligence is definitely something everyone should be working on. 

With a sectoral shift towards business services, Malta is expected to see a higher demand in occupations of skilled workers. But this shift in both the occupation demand and sector changes has a direct effect on employment needs. Cedefop’s forecasts highlight the need for prospective employees to look at furthering their education. This way, they can sit in the medium to high skilled workers brackets. But employees should not stop there. Many of the skills mentioned above go beyond the four walls of a university campus. Acquiring these skills will make us all a valuable resource in the future workplace.

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