“We would be foolish not to tap into the abundance of new talent that has suddenly become available to potentially boost our continent’s economy. We should be taking stock of the skills and competencies arriving on our shores and matching them to the gaps in the local, regional and national labour markets” said Malta Chamber President Anton Borg while addressing the Tripartite Social Summit which took place on 16thMarch and discussed ‘Integrating refugees into the labour market’.
Anton Borg said that contrary to acting as a burden on our society, this approach will offer migrants a sense of purpose and an opportunity to grow in life; providing for their families, while simultaneously reducing skill mismatches. “Of the thousands of human lives seeking refuge in Europe, we must ensure that those who are eligible to stay, obtain the skills required to make a smooth transition into the labour market” he noted.
Mr Borg said that in no way can Europe tolerate radicalism to become main-stream. “We must ensure that we provide protection to those who need it. On the other hand, we support President Tusk’s message on the need to be clear that economic migrants coming in illegally will be returned” he said.
“My message today is therefore a message of solidarity, tolerance and realism. We cannot shy away from our humanitarian obligations as a continent. At the same time, we need to ensure that social cohesion remains at the heart of our economic progress” Anton Borg concluded.
The Tripartite Social Summit, which meets at least once a year, before the Spring European Council, institutionalises the informal summits held since December 2000.
The session was addressed by the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, President of the European Council Donald Tusk, and the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker.