AI: Transforming the employment landscape

As Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to advance at an unprecedented pace, its impact on the employment landscape in Malta has become increasingly apparent. From automation and optimisation to the development of new job opportunities, AI is reshaping industries and altering traditional work dynamics.

While there are concerns about potential job displacement, the overall impact of AI on employment in Malta showcases a mixed bag of challenges and opportunities. Policy actions should be a national imperative to ensure workers get future-ready and quickly acquire the new skills needed to adapt this changing world as the pace of change accelerates over the next decade.

Automation, a key feature of AI, could significantly transform various sectors in Malta. Industries such as manufacturing, logistics and customer service, health and education, can, if used effectively, witness an increase in efficiency and productivity with the integration of AI technologies.
Repetitive and mundane tasks that were once carried out by workers are now being automated, enabling businesses to allocate human resources to more complex and strategic roles. This shift has resulted in improved operational processes, reduced costs and enhanced customer experiences.
However, the automation-driven transformation has not been without challenges. Certain job roles that were primarily focused on manual labour will experience a decline. Workers in industries such as manufacturing, transportation and services face the risk of being displaced by AI-powered machines and autonomous vehicles.

An expert told me that within the next three years, AI can displace over 15 per cent of the workforce โ€“ that means between 30,000 to 40,000 jobs. To mitigate the negative consequences of automation, reskilling and upskilling programmes are crucial in helping the workforce adapt to the evolving demands of the job market.
On the flip side, AI can also create new job opportunities and stimulate the growth of emerging industries in Malta. As AI technologies continue to advance, the demand for professionals skilled in areas such as data science, machine-learning and algorithm development has skyrocketed. Tech companies and start-ups in Malta will need to recruit individuals with expertise in these domains to develop and deploy AI solutions across various sectors.
This can lead to a surge in employment opportunities for skilled workers, attracting talent and driving innovation in the country. But to be the best, we need to attract the best, and laws and policies to mitigate skills attraction are needed.
AI for many is still a black box. Over 60 per cent of the Maltese public are unaware of what it is, its effect, how it works or how it can help; few understand the challenges it will create and, unfortunately, we are still lagging in identifying how to address these challenges.

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