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Malta - Finding Employment

Malta is an attractive destination for people looking to live in a temperate climate with access to good beaches. Many of the new residents are retirees from Northern European countries, especially the UK. They are joined by freelancers who can work anywhere in the world, and by the rarer arrivals of people looking for work.

Malta has very low wage levels, which makes it an attractive place for global businesses to access a low cost workforce. However, this means expats have limited access to good wages. Whilst wage inflation has been low, the cost of living in Malta has been rising. The costs of energy and food are so high that Malta has the second highest living costs in Europe.

Malta’s tight regulation of its banking industry prevented the 2008 worldwide financial crisis from causing the massive bank bailouts and economic disaster seen elsewhere. However, a Caritas Malta study published in May 2016 examined the financial circumstances of Maltese families struggling to achieve an acceptable and decent standard of life. It is not unusual for individuals to work two jobs in order to support their families.

The conclusion to be drawn from these factors, and one which you will hear echoed by many expats who have worked in Malta, is that you must accept you are arriving to enjoy a different lifestyle. You are very unlikely to be improving your career prospects, and will be working for living costs without the prospect of making a large savings pot.

Citizens from the EU/EEA, as well as Swiss nationals and their family members, do not need an Employment License in order to work in Malta. Citizens from elsewhere must receive an Employment License from the Employment and Training Corporation before they begin work. Checks will be carried out to ensure a non-EU foreigner is not moving to Malta to do a job which could be done by an available Maltese worker.

Most residents in Malta speak Maltese. English is widely used and understood, but you will find most workplace conversations occur in Maltese. Many Italian speaking workplaces also exist on Malta, which do a lot of business with the Italian mainland and nearby Sicily.

If you are coming to Malta to work in a seasonal job, for example fruit and vegetable picking, you will find short-term work fairly easily. If you are looking for work in the hospitality industry, such as being a chef or a waiter or working in a hotel, you will easily find vacancies for the summer season but little is available all year round.

Even some skilled jobs are only seasonal. Diving instructors invest thousands into their careers through training, practice, equipment, exam fees and professional membership fees. They have often undertaken internships without pay for an entire season, in order to gain the qualifications and experience necessary for this job in which the lives of others are in their hands. Yet it is still badly paid and seasonal work.

Timeshare workers are highly unpopular. They are given ambitious sales targets and try to draw potential customers off the street. Locals, especially the expats who are most likely to be approached, find this intrusion annoying.

If you are looking for unskilled work available throughout the year, you may have difficulty tracking down opportunities. The population in Malta has the largest concentration of unqualified adults in the workforce of any country in the European Union. Family and friendship ties in this small state with its total population of just over 423,000 people mean that expats are likely to be overlooked for permanent work if they do not bring new and necessary skills to the table. When Malta entered the European Union in 2004 citizens of other EU countries gained the freedom to live and work in Malta, and the 2008 financial crisis which hit Spain and Greece particularly hard gave many the impetus to move.

It is not uncommon for expats to take a step down from where they previously were in their career. With less money and a smaller workforce, in a country where you are not known, you may have to build up expertise in Malta even if you arrived with an impressive CV.

When looking for work, the internet can be a useful starting point.

The recruitment website Jobs In Malta has a very useful Malta Tax and Net Salary Calculator. You can enter a salary figure, and the calculator will show you how much tax will be due and what your take home pay would be. You can set this for annually, monthly, weekly and daily pay.

The website Malta Park has a dedicated jobs page. Whilst it offers a range of classified and for sale pages too rather than being a dedicated recruitment site, the jobs page does attract a lot of listings.

The website for the Times Of Malta has a Careers section. Within this are four categories of current work vacancies: Finance and Legal, IT and Engineering, Sales and Marketing, and Management. These categories give you a good indication of the skill sets you need to succeed in finding permanent employment in Malta.

The Maltese government runs the Employment & Training Commission (ETC), and Jobsplus, which is Malta’s Public Employment Service. Once you have registered with Jobsplus, they will inform you when suitable vacancies are identified. The Jobsplus website allows you to create a profile, upload your CV, choose your work preferences and view suggested job vacancies. They can also identify any training or apprenticeship opportunities that you may be eligible for.

The European Employment Service (EURES) was set up by the European Union. The Employment and Training Corporation’s EURES advisers provide information and advice on employment opportunities in other European countries. They can also advise on conditions of work, health and safety issues, accommodation, the education, healthcare, training opportunities, transport, culture and the general lifestyle in particular countries.

Some vacancies are advertised in local newspapers, and others are placed with the private employment agencies which are located across Malta and Gozo.

Read more about this country

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