PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT

The Community Work Scheme gave dignity and work to a number of vulnerable persons who had been claiming unemployment benefits for years without contributing back to society through their work.

This scheme is giving dignity to those who were most vulnerable to poverty, solving a major social issue of long-term unemployment.

To set the record straight on employment:

– The main reason that unemployment is down is that the country has experienced strong economic growth and introduced active labour market policies which in turn led to an increase in the number of individuals in the labour market as well as a higher demand by the private sector for jobs. 20,000 new jobs have been created in the private sector in just three years. An NSO report in August stated that, in one year, the private sector saw a growth of over 6,500 jobs while the public sector increased by a mere 290 individuals. The number of individuals who are self-employed or working a part-time job in the private sector has also increased.

– The percentage of public sector employees in the economy decreased from 26.7 per cent in 2013 to 25.1 per cent in 2016. This is because the labour market increased in size and the growth was driven by the private sector, diluting the percentage of the public sector in the economy.

– This administration is seriously tackling the abuse of unemployment benefits. Since 2013, social aid has increased and this government will continue the help those who really need it. However, those who try to abuse this social assistance to the detriment of hard-working families should not be allowed to do so.

– The Community Work Scheme is a positive initiative which started under the previous administration and helps long-term jobseekers to build their skill-set through meaningful work. We will continue to support and help jobseekers. This measure helped hundreds of people over the years to get off the unemployment register and get into productive employment in the private sector. Moreover, unemployment has been on a downward trend in a steady fashion since January 2014. This government reversed a trend left by the previous administration as unemployment was creeping to the 8000 mark. This administration halved the number of persons unemployed on the back of a strong growth rate which Malta has not experienced years.

Both the independent rating agencies and the European Union, among others, are reporting strong growth in the Maltese economy and the country is doing exceptionally well in having the least unemployment rate in Europe as well as the least youth unemployment rate.

Source: Government of Malta