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GRTU President Paul Abela said that not only was 2018 another busy year for GRTU but it was also an extraordinary year.
“This year GRTU started operating from its new headquarters in Floriana. At the same time we also started implementing the biggest EU funding project ever administered by GRTU in terms of value. This is helping GRTU be stronger and more effective, providing GRTU and its members with great benefits”, said the GRTU President.
On the 13th March 2019, Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation Silvio Schembri launched the National eSkills Strategy which runs between 2019 and 2021 and aims to, amongst others, address the need for existing and new digital skills that shall be required by nearly all jobs in the medium term was.
Speaking at the launch of the strategy, Mr Schembri said that the IT sector had become more and more important, with all business activites requiring some level of technology integration into their everyday running.
The National eSkills Strategy 2019-2021 gives strong strategic direction and trajectory, providing a set of recommendations with possible initiatives that Malta can undertake. Key recommendations include the adoption of a rolling strategy, training for SMEs in terms of applied emerging technologies for economic growth, developing local talent, focusing on the youth, shifting young people towards being participative rather than just consumers of technology, and assessing digital skills in education, amongst other relevant recommendations.
GRTU's Vice President (Finance & Admin), Marcel Mizzi was appointed as a member of the Strategic Consultative Committee. The committee was created to provide feedback to Government regarding changes to the strategy as well as assisting in the uptake of the intiatives that the Strategy will include.
On the 9th February the Falsified Medicines Directive was implemented in the whole of the European Union. GRTU is at the forefront in implementing this directive and was instrumental in founding MAMVO, the Maltese Medicines Verification Organisation. In less than 7 months, significant investments were made in order to assist pharmacies and wholesale dealers implement software and systems enabling them to comply with this directive.
This morning, GRTU published the results of it's annual Business Performance Survey. The study is conducted online and on the phone by GRTU's own team. This year, the number of respondents was 250 and these included many different types of businesses. The locations of the respondents are from across the Maltese Islands and include retail establishments that are located in shopping centers. The main aim of the study is to compare business performance in 2018 as compared to 2017.
The survey results show clearly that overall, 2018 was a better year for business than 2017. The increase in turnover is coupled with a lesser although significant increase in profits it was reported.
The results show that clearly, the most significant challenge that businesses are facing is employee shortage. Data shows that in spite of this, staff turnover is not overly significant. Businesses report that they are having to raise the wages of their employees so that they can reduce staff turnover.