What Are The Best Jobs And Careers In Malta?
While Malta has a great deal to offer tourists, longer term visitors and residents, it’s small size does pose some potential problems for career development.
As might be imagined, such a small country has very few genuinely large companies, meaning that the majority of businesses are SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises). In fact, most businesses could be classed as ‘micro’ since there are so many 1 and 2 person firms.
This means that while it is obviously possible to have a varied and fulfilling career in Malta, the kind of progression that would see an ambitious manager rise through the ranks might not be possible here. It is, for example, unlikely to imagine that a Maltese will ever become CEO of a major multi-national such as a GE, Exxon, Shell or whomever. This is not because Maltese people are not capable and intelligent, just that these kinds of companies have either very small or no presence here on the island.
There are, of course, some other sectors where there are jobs and careers available here. The most obvious suggestions include igaming (online casinos), financial services (forex and hedge funds), tourism, property and pharmaceuticals.
Malta brings in somewhere around 1.2 million tourists each year. There are, of course, a number of different elements to the tourism industry catering to different tastes. For example, there are language schools teaching English to students, cruise liners that bring in day trippers on tour, winter sun breaks for the retired (mainly from the UK and Ireland, but other European nations too), outdoor holidays for those that like sailing, diving or water activities and the sunshine party trips that involve clubs and drinks for the 18-30 crowd.
Needless to say, there is a lot of infrastructure that goes into making all this happen. For example, the cruise industry has helped to grow a support sector here. Every day when an liner docks in Valletta, tourists get off and explore the city for a day, while support staff set about replenishing supplies on the ship. Both activities bring money onto the island, creating and maintaining jobs.
Amongst all of this infrastructure are the many unseen companies that enable the smooth importation of goods (foodstuffs, clothing, raw materials, technology, consumer goods, etc) into the country. Without these firms, life in Malta would be very different indeed. Much of these come in by sea, but like the tourists, a lot comes in by air freight as well.
Much of this travel is aided by Malta’s membership of the EU. Being a part of both a single currency and the Schengen Zone of visa free travel makes it easier for tourists to come and go.
Many of the retail related jobs are in small businesses. Though there is a wide choice of international brand chains in the country, it is a much smaller range than might be found in cities like Rome or London. Possibly the widest range of such brand name shops can be found at the The Point complex on the edge of Sliema.
Tourism is obviously a service based sector meaning that the jobs being discussed are largely of that nature. There seems to be a huge number of people employed within hotels, restaurants, bars, as reps and guides, drivers of taxis and minibuses and on and on. Much of this is not particularly well paid work and with the wide range of tourist nationalities, the ability to speak a second or third language is a real plus. Most Maltese can also speak Italian, but that isn’t very helpful if you really need French or Spanish or German. This means that there is a very real integration between locals and foreign members of staff in Malta.
Interestingly, there is also a corporate tourism sector as well. This is called destination management and revolves around staging entire trips for large groups of people within a company. While there are not many firms in this arena, when they bring people to Malta, they do so in large numbers, so their impact is very real. One of the best local firms – if you wish to work in this area – is Petite Events.
There are a wide range of businesses and sectors that can use Malta as a home because of the quality of the internet connection. Statistics released by the EU suggest that Malta has one of the highest rates of broadband access in the EU.
As mentioned above, there are several hundred firms in the gaming sector employing several thousand people. Firms like this could not hope to run smoothly if the infrastructure was not able to support them. These types of marketing heavy firms have requirements for people with coding, analysis, PPC and SEO (click here for more) skills among others.
There are also taxation rules that would seem to make the country a great place for a high-tech start-up and small international online business. These are now becoming known as micro-multinationals. With access to European markets, international banking, trusts and company formations, friendly tax policies for foreigners and their businesses and high quality internet, there could be few better locations. Oh, and the weather is quite nice too.
All of this means that there are lots of interesting sports related startups, mostly based in Sliema or St Julian’s. One of our favourites is this online fantasy football firm.
It is a slight derivation of this theme that is starting to bring hedge funds and forex trading platforms and funds to the island. Being in a lower tax location, in the same time zone as most of Europe are additional benefits that help attract money managers.
This access to Europe provides employment opportunity for non-Maltese citizens. When trying to access other markets, there are always potential language barriers. The Maltese generally speak Maltese, English and Italian, but that doesn’t help them much when the target market is German, French or Dutch speaking. There are therefore lots of opportunities in international operations for people with broadly the right skills and other European languages. Your author has met a number of German and Scandinavian people on the islands within the betting and casino world. In fact, Germany is such a big market that it often feels as though every German here works in gaming – though that can’t be the case…
This familiarity with technology has brought other sectors to the country. A leading part of the Maltese economy is the pharmaceutical sector. These big firms are producing hundreds of millions of pills per year to be sold throughout the European Union via the single market. The obvious question is which industry will be next?
All these foreign people finding work need somewhere to live – as does everyone else. There has been something of a residential property boom which has seen many new buildings constructed – probably too many actually. There are many apartments to suit all tastes, from bottom to top and lots of choice. The majority of the opportunity for occupation within property would appear to be within residential sales for companies such as Belair. With dozens of agencies on the island in a wide range of locations, the must be a constant coming and going of positions and staff.
As a former part of the British empire, Malta retains many links with the UK. These include the legal and financial systems, which are surprisingly similar in many respects. These strong links extend into the City of London, where many small sunny islands that used to be British maintain links.
This means that there is a strong ‘offshore’ element to the workings of the country. It is possible to establish offshore trusts and companies in Malta. There are many thousands of cargo vessels and yachts registered in Malta – but typically working around the world. The success of the maritime registration industry has lead the country to look at other similar markets. One that has been highlighted and is becoming a growth area is aviation. Aircraft registration in Malta is a growing concern for a number of well placed local law firms (click here for more).
These industries keep a good number of law firms, accountancy and audit practices in business, as well as the even more specialised companies that deal with the back office administration this company is a good example)(things like appointing and being Directors and Trustees). In other words, saving taxes (either totally or marginally) for wealthy individuals and corporations provides a good living on Malta.