The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry is proposing a cap on the number of Third Country Nationals (TCNs) per entity, thereby “establishing a TCN-to-non-TCN ratio that a business can employ at any point with the exception of health care, waste management and transport sectors”.

The comments were made by The Malta Chamber President Chris Vassallo Cesareo in exclusive comments to

A capping on the number of TCNs per entity supports a recent shift in Government policy, where it was revealed that a concerted effort is being made to limit population growth in Malta, which ballooned by around 125,000 between 2011 and 2022.

Asked to react on this shift in policy, Mr Vassallo Cesareo remarked that an “ageing population, low birth rates and a constant flow of talent out of the country” necessitates supplementing the local workforce with foreign nationals, the greater part of which are now TCNs. However, Mr Vassallo Cesareo, added that “TCNs cannot be the answer to all local labour shortages”.

The Malta Chamber acknowledged that there are industries that are highly reliant on TCNs, such as hospitality and manufacturing. Nonetheless, Mr Vassallo Cesareo said that in the hospitality industry there needs to be “a shift in focus from the current bed night count to quality experiences”. 

“This will lessen the strain on the human resource requirement whilst also put less pressure on our infrastructure. Digital transformation can help also to alleviate the human resource issue by investing in technology which replaces certain human resources, which can be shifted elsewhere,” Mr Vassallo Cesareo explains.

He also added that in addition, Malta needs to “regulate the issue with temping (temporary employment) properly” as well as give proper support to TCNs through integration practices and Maltese language courses.

Temping agencies provide local companies with workers, usually foreign, on a temporary basis. In the past, it has called out rampant abuse by certain operators charging frees from applicants for employment.

“The Malta Chamber is also fully aware that a large proportion of TCNs have an impact on infrastructure, health sector, education system and public transport amongst others. Having recognised how essential TCNs are to short- and medium-term functionality of the Maltese economy, the Government should undertake efforts to ensure that the related visa and permitting process takes place in an expeditious manner, in parallel with the TCNs-to-non-TCNs ratio we are proposing,” he stated.

Mr Vella Cesareo added that exemptions to this quota may only be granted on a case-by-case basis and against a set of clear eligibility criteria, to allow for large-scale business expansion. On the other hand, the Skills Forecasting Policy remains of crucial importance for The Malta Chamber because “it tapers importation of TCNs according to the country's needs. This should follow a full and comprehensive study on our country’s optimal and sustainable carrying capacity.”

Main Image:

Read Next: Placeholder

Written By

Anthea Cachia

Anthea has a passion for writing, meeting new people and telling stories. With an insatiable curiosity Anthea loves roaming localities in search of long-established small businesses. When not scribbling away on a notebook or tapping on her computer, you can find her experimenting in the kitchen or traveling.