Malta’s national employment agency head has confirmed around 10,000 more foreign workers will need to move to the island next year if the economy is to keep on growing at its current rate.
“Unless something unpredictable happens, no economy grows at a rate of 5-6% and then suddenly crashes,” Clyde Caruana said during a debate on TVM’s Insights, presented by Glen Falzon, last night. “At the moment, our economy is growing by that rate and it is expected to continue in that vein in the coming years. At this rate,10,000 more foreign workers are needed every year.”
He said the problem with Malta’s economy isn’t the high influx of foreign workers but the low number of Maltese workers in the labour market. Indeed, he warned the rate of Maltese people retiring from the workforce is significantly outpacing the rate of Maltese people joining it.
With around 60,000 foreigners in a workforce of 220,000 people, he warned the economy and society will collapse if they were to suddenly emigrate.
“People won’t even be able to go to work because around half or three quarters of the public transport system will stop working, supermarkets won’t have cashiers and hospitals will have problems,” he said.
Caruana also gave his take on a common Maltese gripe, that there aren’t many Maltese waiters nowadays.
“If it weren’t for the foreign waiters, those restaurants would definitely not be able to serve the Maltese because the Maltese are working elsewhere,” he argued. “Indeed Malta has the highest youth employment rate in the EU.”