Skills gap survey finds 730 unfilled gaming jobs in Malta

16 January 2020

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA)’s Information & Research Unit has found that 730 jobs have been reported as unfilled by Malta-based gaming companies as of the end of 2018 because of a skills shortage in the country.

The report also found that 68% of unfilled vacancies, or 497 vacancies in total, were at the operation level. A total of 38 vacancies (5.2%) were at the top level of management, while 195 vacancies (26.7%) were in middle management. 69% of vacanies were unfilled for three months or less.

The report, intended to obtain a better understanding of the existing skills gap in the gaming industry, said that the main reason vacancies went unfilled was a lack of experience from candidates, which was listed for 27% of vacancies. Competition from other firms follows close behind, with 27% of the responses. Lack of qualifications was listed as the main reason for 21%, while a lack of interest in the sector was given as a reason for 9% of vacancies.

The study also found that, because of skill shortages, 35% of companies engage in in-house training activities or mentoring. While the majority of the surveyed companies expressed their satisfaction with the training offerings in Malta; between 15% and 20% of the respondents said that the availability, quality and value for money of the training opportunities in Malta were each unsatisfactory.

Gambling accounted for the equivalent of 7,011 full-time jobs on the island for 2018, it revealed. Counting indirect employment, the equivalent of 9,800 full-time jobs exist in the industry. Because of a lack of canddiates from Malta itself, however, 68.6% of these jobs were filled by those coming from outside the country.

“Gaming companies are searching for candidates with various backgrounds and skills including ICT, statistics and mathematics, marketing, law, finance and others,” the report said. “Furthermore, these areas of specialisation are experiencing strong demand from other growth sectors of the domestic economy and also internationally.

“For this reason, the demand for human resources cannot be satisfied exclusively through home-grown talent but also requires attracting human capital from abroad.”

Only 9% of firms were found to recruit workers immediately after the completion of their education, which the MGA said confirms “the potentially stronger role which could be played by educational institutions.”