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Digital technology / specialisationDigital skills
Digital skill levelBasic
Geographic Scope - CountryMalta
Type of initiative
Re-engineering economy will require strong investment in staff abilities beyond hard, technical skills
A recent Misco survey highlighted a number of interesting aspects on what employees consider to be the main skills required for their jobs, the main skills they would like to be trained in and the skills they believe are most lacking.
Another survey sought the employers’ views on the skills they consider to be the most important to their organisation and the skills they find most lacking among their staff.
For employees, the skills they consider most important for their jobs are self-organisation, leadership and decision-making. For employers, the skills they believe are most important to their organisation are decision-making, verbal communication, teamwork, customer care and interpersonal skills.
On the other hand, employers claim that the skills they find most lacking among their staff are decision-making, self-organisation and working to priorities, a strong work ethic and enthusiasm. Employees believe the skills most lacking in the workforce are a strong work ethic, enthusiasm and empathy. The main skills employees would like to be trained on are leadership, thinking and persuasion skills.
Last week, the National Statistics Office (NSO) published the results of a survey providing information on work-related skills and their respective time allocations. Various aspects were explored, such as engagement in physically demanding tasks, tasks involving finger dexterity, performing relatively complex calculations and reading work-related documents.
Putting the results of the three surveys together, one identifies a number of common factors, and deciphers the direction that staff training or employees’ lifelong learning should take.
In brief, the NSO survey shows that:
• 49.6% of the employed population spend at least half of their working time using digital technologies;
• One in every five workers spend at least half of their working time reading work-related manuals and technical documents;
• 18.4% of the employed population spends at least half of their working time on tasks that require the manipulation and transformation of numeric information;
• Two-thirds of the working population in Malta spend at least half of their working time communicating with other persons within the same company, while 55.4% spend at least half of their working time interacting with persons from outside the organisation.
Other survey information shows that 73% of employed persons believe they are sufficiently skilled in the use of digital technology to do their job, but just 25% believe there should be no government controls over the development of technology. As such, most people feel they are sufficiently skilled in the use of digital technology at work, but they would like to see some form of control over its development, indicating they have a bit of a love-hate relationship with technology.
A question that needs asking is: should we seek to increase the figure of those who spend half (49.6%) of their working time using digital technologies?
We have 55.4% of the employed population who spend at least half of their time interacting with persons outside their organisation. Employers feel this is one of most important skills for their organisation. From the employees’ perspective, empathy is one of the skills they find most lacking in the workforce.
The importance, and at the same time, the lack of decision-making skills was highlighted by both employers and employees. Yet only 18.4% of the employed population spend at least half of their working time on tasks that required the manipulation and transformation of numeric information, which is in itself a good indicator of analytical and decision-making skills.
In the past weeks I have written about the need to move up the economic value chain to re-engineer our economy. This will require, among many other things, a strong investment in skills, beyond the hard, technical skills.