Malta’s public policies do not explicitly focus on youth unemployment and NEETs. Since the county experiences high employment levels, these are not burning public issues. However, education-related policies (which are crucially important as preventive measures and interventions from the NEETs aspect) focus on inclusion, employability, equal opportunities, reducing disadvantages, increasing educational attainment, developing labour market skills and competencies, and preventing early school leaving. These strategies and policies have proved effective and impactful. Between 2005 and 2020, Malta almost tripled the share of its population in tertiary education. In 2017, Malta reached its national 2020 by halving the rate of early school leavers. Participation in life-long learning is increasing, with Malta exceeding the EU 27 average in recent years. The literacy rate in Malta has also increased from 86.93 per cent (1986) to 99.3 per cent (2018). Malta’s robust employment-related policies stood the test of crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic. Two and a half years after the emergence of the pandemic, Malta continues to have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the European Union, even after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite Malta’s growth and advancement, there is room for improvement. In many education-related indicators, Malta still performs under the EU average. In the employment sector, undeclared work, precarious work, the guarantee of equal pay for equal work, decent and safe working conditions for all, and extensive introduction of flexible working arrangements remain essential challenges. On the provisions’ side, those excluded from the labour market quickly get ‘left behind’ with hardly enough income for a decent life. Provisions tackling poverty and social exclusion need fine-tuning to better respond to the diversity of needs and situations.
Learn more about the policy context country report on Malta by clicking here.