The Malta Independent 5 December 2023, Tuesday
View E-Paper

Careers and job opportunities in artistic, creative sectors more than double

Owen Bonnici Friday, 17 November 2023, 15:06 Last update: about 18 days ago

In the realm of national identity, culture, arts, and heritage serve as the cornerstone. They encapsulate the essence of a society, reflecting its values, history, and aspirations. Art and culture provide fertile ground for innovation and creativity, offering a platform for experimentation and expression.

The investment in artistic endeavours, such as films, literature, music, and visual arts, cultivates an environment that nurtures discoveries and originality. This creative energy extends beyond the realm of art and permeates into various sectors of society.


Over the past decade, from 2013 to 2023, employment in cultural and creative fields has more than doubled. According to the National Statistics Office, in May 2023, 7,187 individuals were registered as working in these fields, with 4,245 employed full-time and 2,942 part-time. This stands in stark contrast to 2013, when there were 3,065 individuals working in cultural and creative sectors, with 1,818 employed full-time and 1,247 part-time.

What’s more, this is a conservative assessment as it leaves out from the calculation other careers – such as those related to architecture or the gaming industry – which are usually included for the purpose of calculating the amount of gainfully employed in the creative sector in other studies abroad.  However, we  wanted to compare like with like.

To get a clearer idea, compare the amount of 7,187 working in the cultural and creative fields to the following cohorts according to the same report of the National Statistics Office: Agriculture and fishieries: 2,683; Real Estate: 2,829; Accomodation: 7,720; Financial Sector: 13,100.

The government has successfully contributed to this growth by doubling down on efforts to improve opportunities and viability in cultural and creative employment. Recognizing the quality and sustainability of such jobs, the government has implemented measures like a reduced tax rate of 7.5% for artists, leveraging their income from artistic endeavours as from this year. In addition to ongoing financial support through the Malta Arts Council, the government has increased funding to aid artists through various schemes.

Looking ahead, the budget for the cultural sector will continue to see increased investment. Beyond financial support, the government is set to introduce an apprenticeship scheme aimed at engaging artistic apprentices full-time in the private and voluntary sectors. This initiative fosters collaboration between artists and organizations, providing time and resources for artists to work across diverse sectors. To further elevate the status of artists, improve working conditions, and emphasize the economic importance of artists, the government is committed to formulating the first charter on the status of artists in 2023.

At the local level, the government is appointing cultural managers in each region to ensure that cultural initiatives are tailored to regional needs. The upcoming year is slated to be a special one for the Cultural Sector, as the government plans to invest significantly in culture, the arts, and the creative economy. This investment is not just in monetary terms but represents a commitment to nurturing the nation's intellectual capital, driving progress, and fostering innovation.

The budget allocation for 2023, amounting to €84.15 million more than the last budget of a previous Nationalist administration, signals a clear commitment to the cultural and creative sectors. The additional €20 million earmarked for 2024 compared to this year further emphasizes the government's dedication to sustained growth in these areas.

Breaking down the increase, specific projects include:

1. €6.5 million for the purchase of properties of Band Clubs facing risk of closure due to pre-1995 rent laws.

2. €2 million for capital investment in the Valletta Cultural Agency.

3. Restoration votes for forts increased from €2 million to €3.5 million.

4. €2.5 million for a System Upgrade at PBS Ltd.

5. Almost €600,000 for additional investment in improvements at the Manoel Theatre.

6. €1.7 million for the Malta Biennale.

7. An increase of €3.2 million for various public cultural entities, including a nearly €600,000 boost for the National Philharmonic Orchestra, €400,000 for Festivals Malta, and €800,000 for Heritage Malta, among others.

Culture is the soul of our people, and it deserves our attention and support. As a government, we believe in providing absolute support to organizations that promote local traditions related to festivities. It is heartening to note that the Maltese festa has been recommended for inclusion in UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage list by UNESCO’s technical committee, a testament to the positive work undertaken.

This recognition is anticipated to be formalized at the upcoming UNESCO conference in Botswana. We trust that the recommendation, which acknowledges the significant work done to present our nomination, will pass without anticipated difficulties.

We take this opportunity to express our gratitude to the Band Clubs Association for spearheading this nomination, the organizations and entities that supported it, and the dedicated team responsible for Malta's Intangible Heritage within the Directorate for Culture.

In the coming years, we aim to continue supporting our festas. Three specific financing schemes, totalling an investment of half a million euros for 2023, will focus once again on the areas of fireworks, pyrotechnics, and musical societies. These initiatives are crucial components of strengthening our local traditions and cultural heritage. By building on the past and investing in the future of these traditions, we are committed to preserving our cultural identity.

In the realm of contemporary art, Malta is set to host the Maltabiennale in 2024. This international art event will showcase over 2,500 proposals from artists worldwide, offering a unique platform for dialogue and collaboration. The event, taking place across historical sites curated by Heritage Malta, signifies Malta's commitment to promoting contemporary art on a global stage. It is an opportunity for local artists to engage with an international audience and for Malta to be recognized as a vibrant hub for contemporary creativity.

The government's commitment to culture extends beyond financial support to education and awareness. Heritage Malta, Festivals Malta, and MUŻA are actively engaging the public through educational programs, guided tours, seminars, and historical re-enactments. These initiatives not only contribute to a deeper understanding of our cultural heritage but also provide opportunities for individuals to actively participate and contribute to the cultural landscape.

The National Archives are actively participating in European projects, fostering collaboration and digitization efforts. By preserving and digitizing historical documents, the National Archives contribute to the accessibility and dissemination of Malta's rich history, ensuring that it remains a valuable resource for future generations.

In conclusion, as we navigate the cultural landscape, the government's sustained investment in arts and culture is evident. From supporting festivals and contemporary art exhibitions to preserving historical sites and fostering talent, Malta is charting a course towards a vibrant and sustainable cultural future.

The 2024 budget reflects a strategic vision, reinforcing Malta's position as a hub for creativity and innovation on the global stage. It is a testament to the belief that culture is not only the soul of our nation but also a driving force for progress and economic growth. Through these comprehensive efforts, Malta is poised to emerge as a model for cultivating a thriving and dynamic cultural ecosystem, ensuring that the legacy of our heritage continues to enrich the lives of present and future generations.

  • don't miss