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The National Council of Women Annual General Meeting “Towards a regeneration for the Future”
NCW Malta Annual General Meeting 2021 was held at The Palace Hotel Sliema on Thursday 22 July 2021 In her opening address, outgoing NCW President, Mary Gaerty, called on the Assembly to join her in a prayer for past members of NCW, for those who lost their life due to the Covid-19 and for the women whose lives were taken away due to femicide, which saw an increase during Covid-19.
Elimination of Violence against Women - 16 Days of Activism
Elimination of violence against women – 16 Days of Activism. You too can do something about it! The 25th of November is the kick off date for the annual international campaign of 16 days of activism against Gender Based Violence. It starts on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and runs till the 10th of December, Human Rights Day .
Human dignity should be respected at all times.
The National Council of Women would like to express its concern about the video posted online portraying men pelting a woman with eggs during a stag party. Human dignity should be respected at all times. As a society, we should condemn any type of abuse even if this is done by consent for financial gain.
OSCE/ODIHR anti-trafficking survey for survivors of trafficking in human beings
The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) has received numerous responses and has decided to extend the submission due date for the survey of survivors of human trafficking to Monday 26 August 2019.
On 2 July, the Joint Liaison Task Force Migrant Smuggling and Trafficking in Human Beings (JLT-MS) was launched at Europol. This new operational platform will allow liaison officers from all EU Member States to step up the fight against constantly adapting criminal networks.
Malta is EU country with highest rate of tertiary education graduates in employment
A report in the Independent states that Malta stood above the EU average in 2018 when it came to the employment rate of graduates aged 20-34 who had attained a tertiary level education within the previous three years,
European Commission
On 2 July 2019, Ursula von der Leyen was nominated by the European Council to the position of President of the European Commission; she will be the first women and the first German since Walter Hallstein
Equal opportunities and access to the labour market
1. Education, training and life-long learning Everyone has the right to quality and inclusive education, training and life-long learning in order to maintain and acquire skills that enable them to participate fully in society and manage successfully transitions in the labour market. 2. Gender equality Equality of treatment and opportunities between women and men must be ensured and fostered in all areas, including regarding participation in the labour market, terms and conditions of employment and career progression. Women and men have the right to equal pay for work of equal value.
The gender pay gap in the EU and the European Pillar of #SocialRights
1. The gender pay gap in the EU is 16.2%, that’s 16.2% higher than it should be! Gender equality is the second key principle of the European Pillar of #SocialRights for a reason 2. The European Pillar of #SocialRights supports the right to equal treatment and opportunities regarding employment, social protection, education, and access to goods and services available to the public. Something NCW Malta has supported since its creation!
Gender Equality in the Media Sector
This study was commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality. It examines key elements of the European policy agenda pertaining to gender equality in the media sector. It also reviews existing research on women's representation within media content and the media workforce. The study provides analysis of actions to promote gender equality in the media at both EU and Member State levels. Finally, it presents case studies of gender equality in the media sector in four Member States: Austria, Malta, Sweden, and the UK.
Empowering women and girls in media and ICT
On the occasion of the International Women's Day, the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality is holding an inter-parliamentary committee meeting on empowering women and girls in media and ICT. The meeting, which will bring together EU institutional representatives, members of EU national parliaments, experts and stakeholders, will take place on 08 March 2018. The presentation and debates will deal with the topics of women shaping media, empowering women and girls through digital inclusion and women’s movements and advancing equality in the digital age.
Digital healthcare / health insurance
In the view of the EESC, given the digital revolution in the field of health, it is vital to maintain and promote a health insurance system which serves the needs of everyone, and is solidarity-based, inclusive and non-discriminatory. Inclusion and fair access for all to good quality health services (digital or otherwise) and commitment to these are in fact prerequisites for universal health coverage.
Gender equality in European labour markets
In order to improve gender equality in labour markets, the EESC considers it necessary to draw up an integrated and ambitious European strategy to tackle systemic and structural obstacles and lead to adequate policies, measures and EU funding programmes for improving equality between women and men, thus fostering "more equal economic independence of women and men" . This would also contribute to the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights.
Services to the family
Developing services in private homes in order to achieve a better work-life balance Every family has a home and clothes to maintain, meals to prepare, children to care for, elderly parents or ill or disabled family members who need help. Women often have to work part-time in order to carry out these tasks, missing out on the career for which they have trained or on time they would use for training.
Women and girls digital gender gap
This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the FEMM Committee, attempts to reveal the links between the different factors (access, skills, socio-economic and cultural), which prevent women from having equal access to digital technology. It then suggests ways of dealing with online and offline inequalities to the effect of closing the digital gender gap and improving women’s and girls’ digital inclusion and future technology-related career paths.
Plastics, human health and environmental impacts: The road ahead
Plastics have been with us for more than a century, and by now they’re everywhere, for good and for ill. Plastic containers and coatings help keep food fresh, but they can also leave behind neurotoxins such as BPA in the human body. PVC is used for everything from pipes and flooring to furniture and clothes, but it contains compounds called phthalates that have been implicated in male reproductive disorders. Studies have also shown that childhood exposure to environmental pollutants can have significant negative effects later in life, including reduced labor force participation and even earnings.
European Commission aims to significantly reduce the gender pay gap
The European Commission plans to use a series of measures aimed at significantly reducing the pay gap between men and women over the next five years. The average gender pay gap in the EU currently stands at 18%. To lower this rate, the Commission plans to raise awareness among employers, encourage initiatives to promote gender equality and support the development of tools to measure the gender pay gap.
NCW Annual General Meeting 2019
NCW Annual General Meeting 2019 The Annual General Meeting of the National Council of Women was held on Saturday 26th January 2019, at The Victoria Hotel, Sliema. President Mary Gaerty spoke about the work which the Council has embarked on during 2018. This included pensions, education, violence against women, work and entrepreneurship, work life balance and the challenges faced by women on a daily basis. She also highlighted the fact that the National Council of Women is looking ahead at the constant changes
Work-life Balance
Better work-life balance for EU citizens: Presidency reaches provisional agreement with the European Parliament
The National Council of Women supports the Act to provide protection for human embryos
NCW has always advocated for legislation of alternative IVF treatment not least because of the sensitivity and the consequences for both parents and society if it had to remain unregulated. NCW believes that IVF treatment should be for heterosexuals within a stable family environment The Council has always supported the protection of embryos as the first cell of a human life and, with the development of alternative treatment over the past years this has become possible successfully.
Women on Boards: Vice-President Viviane Reding meets with leaders of Europe's business schools and i
Today, EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding met with European Industry Associations, European Business Schools and Senior Executive Women to discuss progress being made on improving the gender balance in company boardrooms.
UfM adopts new project to support women’s empowerment in the Mediterranean
A project aimed at developing women’s empowerment in the Mediterranean through the development of effective field projects and the setting up of networks and platforms, was adopted by Senior Officials of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) at a meeting held last month.
Date: 02/11/2009

Future Skills for Future Jobs
Anticipating labour market and skills needs

The need to address Labour Market Skills Issues at European level

Europe, potentially, faces a major skills problem in the near future.
Over 20 million new jobs are expected to be created between 2006 and 2020. Another 85 million jobs will be available to replace people who retire or leave the labour market for other reasons.

Although more jobs and more job opportunities are forecast, the working age population will fall by around six million. While there is the possibility of oversupply in some areas, there is considerable evidence of increasing needs for, and even shortages of, people with adequate levels of qualification in many areas.

The Lisbon employment rate target of 70 % by 2010 could prove to be far too low for 2020. In just over a decade an employment rate of around 74 % will be required to avoid a possible shortage in the workforce due to different occupational structures and potential skill gaps.

Europe needs to do more to anticipate changing skill needs. Information on skill needs at national level is no longer enough. A European labour market requires European-level information. In November 2007, the Education Council adopted a resolution on ‘New Skills for new jobs’

This request has been taken up in the June 2008 Council conclusions ‘Anticipating and matching labour market need with special emphasis on Youth – a jobs and skills initiative’ and asked the European Commission for a comprehensive assessment of Europe’s future skills requirements up to 2020, taking account of technological change and an ageing population, and to propose ways to anticipate future needs

Employment Trends by 2020
Services Sector still expanding
The skill needs forecast uses a model to project demand by occupation and qualification, and replacement demand
The general shift away from the primary sector (especially agriculture) and traditional manufacturing industries towards services and the knowledge intensive economy is a trend likely to continue as a key feature in Europe over the coming decade.

Around 29 million new jobs by 2020
The forecast 20.3 million additional jobs between 2006 and 2020 in the EU-25 (EU-25 plus Norway and Switzerland) comes despite the loss of well over three million jobs in the primary sector and almost 0.8 million in manufacturing. Almost three quarters of jobs in EU-25 in 2020 will be in services.
The construction sector tends to stagnate with less than half a million jobs between 2006 and 2020. Distribution, transport, hotels and catering together are projected to see employment growth by more than 4.5 million in the next decade, while non-marketed services are expected to increase by slightly more than 4.9 million . Business and miscellaneous services have the best prospects with more than 14 million additional jobs being created between 2006 and 2020Consewquently almost three quarters of jobs in the EU 25 in 20220 will be in services

Workforce shortages
Due to the need to replace people leaving the labour market, there will be significant numbers of job openings even in the primary and manufacturing sectors.
In addition to 20.3 million new jobs created between 2006 and 2020, another 85 million jobs (four times more) will be available top replace workers who retire or leave the labour market The total number of job openings therefore will be 105.3 million in EU 25 between 2006 and 2020
It is important that policy-makers, education and training providers, guidance services and citizens are aware that these sectors will remain crucial components of the economy and viable sources of jobs.

Projected sectoral changes, as well as changes in how work is organised and jobs are performed, will significantly affect the occupational skills needed in the future. However, the nature of many jobs and their skill requirements will change.

Polarised job growth: high-skill, low-skill

Currently, almost 40 % of people work in higher-level occupations such as management, professional work, or technical jobs. Expansion of high- and medium level skilled occupations is expected to continue over the next decade.

An increase is also projected for some jobs requiring no or lower level skills such as elementary occupations, defined as jobs that consist of simple and routine tasks that require basic education to carry them out. In contrast, there will be fewer jobs for agricultural skilled workers, clerks and craft and related trades workers

The forecast focuses on three levels (high, medium and low qualifications). The results highlight the general increase in qualification levels across most jobs and all occupational categories – including those at the lowest rung of the skill-occupation ladder. The forecast points to elementary jobs being increasingly occupied by workers with mainly medium qualifications (Figure 3). Consequently, at the broadest level, the projected changes are even more dramatic for qualification levels than occupations.

In total, the net employment increase in Europe of over 20 million jobs between 2006 and 2020 comprises increases of almost 19.6 million jobs at the highest qualification level (graduate and post-graduate qualifications, including vocational equivalents) and almost 13.1 million jobs at medium level (upper- and post-secondary level, especially vocational qualifications). This is offset by a sharp decline of almost 12.5 million jobs for those with no or low formal qualifications and 50% medium qualifications. Demand for low qualifications will fall from a third in 1996 to 18.5 %

Although most additional jobs over the period 2006-20 will require high-level qualifications, most job openings (new jobs plus jobs open to replace people leaving the labour market) are expected to require medium-level qualifications, which traditionally include vocational qualifications. Some 55 million, nearly 58 % of the forecast total of 105 million job openings, will be at medium-level. Many of these jobs will require vocational Qualifications

Of the remaining job openings, almost 41 million jobs may require high-level qualifications. Less than 10 million jobs will be open for applicants with no or low level qualifications. To meet this demand the current qualification structure of the workforce needs to change in the coming decade.

Policy implications
• Based on these findings, overall demand for skills is likely to continue to rise.
• The young generation entering the labour market in the next decade cannot fulfil all the labour market skill needs.
• For Europe to remain competitive, policies need to be in place to ensure that the workforce can adapt to these requirements. Europe needs a strategy to satisfy the demands of the service-oriented knowledge-intensive economy.
• People must be able to adjust their skills constantly to continual labour market change. This has implications for education and training and lifelong learning.
• A consistent and ambitious strategy is required that
 reduces the flow of early school leavers and dropouts,
 establishes a comprehensive skills plan for adults/adult learning and
 which increases the supply of people trained in science and technology,
 as well as vocational fields.
• Education and training systems also need to be equitable to reach those who need to improve their skills, but often face barriers to participating in learning. Skills obtained outside the formal education system, whether at work, during leisure time, or abroad, need to be visible and properly valued.
• It is important to validate and accredit people’s knowledge, skills and competences, irrespective of how they were obtained, particularly those with low-level formal qualifications, older workers, people with a migrant background and returners to the labour market. Otherwise, we waste skills, failing to make the best use of those we have. Common European tools, principles and mechanisms developed in the Education and training 2010 work programme need to be part of such packages.
• However, education and training measures alone cannot solve the potential problem of a major skill shortage in Europe. Projected occupational change requires Europe to maximise the employment potential of its workforce.
• This has implications for employment, enterprise, migration, mobility and social policies in Member States. Employment and social policy measures need to be more flexible to provide more support for those needing to change their job.
• Bringing more women into the labour market and longer working lives are crucial measures for Europe’s sustainable future.
• Given the shrinking workforce across the EU and trends in workforce demand, intra-European mobility will not suffice.
• The potential role of migration from outside the EU needs careful examination.
• The forecast results emphasise the need for policymaking to initiate measures in time to prevent, or at least alleviate, risks of skill mismatches (shortages as well as surpluses). There is a need to understand in more detail working conditions, skill and competence requirements and profiles of both precarious and knowledge-intensive job segments.

Uncertainties remain about specific developments in demand for occupations and qualifications, among which is how supply and demand interact. From a policy viewpoint, it is important to know if a skill mismatch is temporary or transitory (short-term labour market frictions that disappear after some time) or a long-term phenomenon requiring targeted action. To answer these and other questions Europe needs to invest in further research and analysis on the early identification of skill needs.

The situation in Malta
Although policy measures are being developed to address labour market and skills needs the following areas need to be given priority

• The role of the MCESD in social dialogue to reach agreement on policies regarding partnerships  and on their respective implementation is urgent
• Investing more in research and innovation in particular in private-public partnerships
• Policies on research and innovation for competitiveness
• The need to improve the quality of teacher training programmes cannot be underestimated as proposed by the EU Commission and COM (2007) 392 final
 (see also EESC opinion SOC/288 Improving the Quality of Teacher Education)
• There is the urgent need to have a high level of infrastructure that will incentivise more women in particular women who have just given birth, to enter and remain in the labour market. This includes accessible and affordable childcare facilities up to adolescent years, matching the working hours of both parents (also through after school services) Addressing maternity leave issues is highly important
• More family-friendly working time organisation in the public and private sectors
• It is also important to utilize with more equity the voluntary sector in particular for non formal learning programmes (2011 European Year Voluntary Activity)
• Addressing high rates of illiteracy and absenteeism with urgency
• Creating a more child/student centred education system with a holistic approach that will also provide the necessary skills building for team work, creativity and innovation, leadership, a quality lifestyle that will balance life and work (reform of primary education)
• Instilling a culture of research and innovation at all levels of education (European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009)
• Fostering an entrepreneurial mindset at all levels of education: primary, secondary and tertiary
• Intergenerational Transfer of knowledge policies and practices in the public and private sectors
• Effective action in lifelong learning and adult learning
Sources: www.cedefop.europa.eu
Grace Attard, NCW President


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