Malta transit desperate for drivers

Malta Public Transport (MPT) says it is forced to import foreign labor because it can't find enough local drivers. Meanwhile, many feel that migrants are not welcome.

Daiva Repeckaite
Daiva Repeckaite NewsMavens, Malta
Malta transit desperate for drivers - NewsMavens
A Malta bus. Wikicommons

Why this story matters:

In an attempt to fill employment gaps, Malta has reached out to women, workers in other EU nations and African migrants. Last year, MPT considered "importing" drivers from as far off as Pakistan. 

Employees get free health insurance and free unlimited travel on all buses for themselves and their immediate family.

As the number of foreign-born and female drivers rises, MPT has come under criticism for the comfortable salaries they are offering.

Malta’s situation deserves to be in the spotlight, because it so starkly illustrates the need for incoming labor coexisting with an important flux of often unwelcome migrants, increasing the pressure to get integration policy right.

Details from the story:

  • Malta Public Transport (MPT) released a statement saying it employs drivers from other countries because there isn't enough drivers in Malta to cover the country's transportation needs.
  • MPT employs more than 1,300 people from 38 countries. 
  • In 2017, 44 percent of MPT drivers made between €15,000 and €25,000 per year. Only 13 percent made more than €25,000.
  • Public transit is often delayed by buses trying to navigate Malta's overcrowded, narrow streets and by personal vehicles blocking traffic.

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