PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR COMPETITIVENESS AND DIGITAL, MARITIME AND SERVICES ECONOMY AND THE MINISTRY FOR EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT: Ministers Emmanuel Mallia and Evarist Bartolo address ICT and education professionals at an eSkills seminar

IT professionals and practitioners are in high demand and this will increase in the future. It is forecasted that by 2020 there will be more than 800,000 unfilled new age jobs over Europe. This further compounds itself when the digital skills needed by the industry are not being matched. Therefore it is very important that the crop of individuals trained and educated within the ICT sector are those required by the industry.

These topics were discussed at the ‘Malta ICT Skills Audit 2017- Building Malta’s Tech Talent Pipeline’, organised by the eSkills Malta Foundation and Fastrack into Information Technology (FIT).

The Digital Revolution created a large demand for ICT-related jobs in the industry as well as considerable enthusiasm to provide education and training to serve this demand. This does not mean however that the education currently provided is what the industry requires. In fact, and not just in Malta, the digital skills attained by students and employees are not matching the needs of the industry enough, thus creating an extensive digital skills gap.

Minister Mallia emphasized that we must monitor regularly the required skills of the industry and how education and training are shaping up. The ICT Skills Audit developed by eSkills Malta Foundation, in collaboration with FIT, is a study which seeks to identify the industry eSkills gap, and such a project must be commended. Dr Mallia continued that matching the skills gap is not easy but this study should help in identifying specific skills that the country’s education system must work on.

Minister Evarist Bartolo added that education and training must work together with the industry to find ways to bridge the gap as much as possible. This could be by way of change in curriculums, and change in the way individuals proceed with their studies, for example by using an apprenticeship scheme or an industry placement. The industry must also do its part by creating an environment and an atmosphere for the educationalists to collaborate.

Both ministers praised eSkills Malta Foundation and FIT for their initiatives.

Source: Government of Malta