The Malta Independent 12 July 2024, Friday
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96% of persons living in Malta understand English, 90.4% understand Maltese – Malta Skills Survey

Semira Abbas Shalan Thursday, 15 June 2023, 14:37 Last update: about 2 years ago

The most common language understood by persons living in the country is English (96%), followed by Maltese (90.4%) and Italian (62%), the Malta Skills Survey showed.

Launched by the National Statistics Office, a new dedicated survey on skills in Malta was conducted, sampling 130,000 individuals aged between 15 and 64 years, living in private households.

The sample included Maltese citizens residing in Malta, and non-Maltese citizens were only included if they had lived in Malta for at least five years prior to the survey.

The survey identified the array of skills among the population of working age in Malta and Gozo, to identify any skills gap, as well as assist policy makers and researchers to better understand what business interests can be brought to the country.

The survey's results when measuring the level of proficiency in languages showed that advanced reading and writing skills in Maltese, (71.4% and 59.1% respectively) was much lower compared to listening (83.3%) and speaking (81.3%) ability of the language.

Additionally, an advanced level of proficiency in both Maltese and English was more common in females compared to males, in all four language areas.

More than 60% of those who understood English reported advanced proficiency in listening (70.5%), reading (68.4%), speaking (63.2%) and writing (61.6%), the survey results showed.

Level of proficiency decreased with age, with younger persons more likely to report an advanced level of knowledge in one of the four areas, when compared to older respondents.

The skills covered in the survey were grouped into eight categories, with the most common skills categories being computing (78.5%), communication and collaboration (70.6%) and assistance and care (65.6%).

Over three fourths of the total target population reported having basic computer skills (76.8%).

Sports was the most common skill among the younger segment of the population (15 to 24 years), and culinary abilities were most common among those aged over 25.

The survey showed that skills within the category of construction and related skills were most common among the older section of the male population.

Skills more common in Gozo were skills within agriculture, fishing, and related skills, and almost half of all males in the target population identified at least one skill in the tools, machinery and related skills category. The percentage for females was much lower, at 15.4%.

Within the category of agriculture, fishing and related skills, animal handling was the most common skill (13%), This was followed by the cultivation of land and crops (10%) and fishing (6%).

The percentage of males who selected at least one skill within the assistance, care, and related skills category (58.4%) was much lower than that of females, with almost 75%. The most common skill among males and females were assisting public and clients (30.9% and 41.9% respectively). 

For females, the second most common skill was that related to caring for children (40.5), while among males, it was providing basic medical assistance (28.6%), the survey showed.

The survey showed that within the category of communication and collaboration, problem solving was the most common skill among those between the age of 15 and 24 years (37.7%).

Overall, 70.6% of the population reported having at least one skill from the communication and collaboration skills category, making it the most common skill category within the population.

Within this category, supervising a team or group, problem solving and leading and motivating were the top-three skills. 24.6% of the respondents selected gathering information from physical of electronic sources, the most common information and related skill.

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