PRESS RELEASE BY THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARIAT FOR FINANCIAL SERVICES, DIGITAL ECONOMY AND INNOVATION AND THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARIAT FOR EUROPEAN FUNDS AND SOCIAL DIALOGUE

Launch of ‘Women4IT’ initiative � a European funded project aimed to increase vulnerable young women in the digital agenda

Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation Silvio Schembri and Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds and Social Dialogue Aaron Farrugia launched the Women4IT initiative, a European funded project aimed at increasing the numbers of girls and young women in the digital agenda. Women4IT also aims at addressing structural transformation of the labour market due to the growing digital society in which there are significantly fewer women than men.

Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation Silvio Schembri explained that the aim of the project is to design and experiment an innovative employment solution for women in the digital jobs sector. This European funded project will serve as a springboard which will see the insertion of a hundred young women into digital jobs through the provision of awareness-raising, training and employments related to digital job opportunities, said Parliamentary Secretary Schembri, whilst adding that this will be done through the participators’ engagement strategy with stakeholders and employers to support the ambitions of these young women.

Silvio Schembri explained that the lack of women’s participation within the ICT sector is a scenario that is being experienced across the EU member states. In 2017, the gender employment gap amounted to 11.6 percentage points across the EU, with a 76.9% employment rate for men and 65.3% for women. To reach the Europe 2020 target of a 75% employment rate for both women and men, particular attention needs to be devoted to the labour market participation of women.

As a country, we have improved a lot within the digital space, now becoming a main point of reference, yet we are still lagging behind in women participation. If addressed now, the digital sector could be the first sector where we could see women on par with men, said Parliamentary Secretary Schembri.

Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds and Social Dialogue Aaron Farrugia said that this project is a significant one in which Malta is partnering with a number of other countries, including Norway, which is the largest donor country within the EEA through Norway’s financial mechanisms. He said that the amount of Norwegian funds have increased from Euros 3 million to Euros 8 million in this programming period, and are focusing on reducing socio-economic disparities in Malta.

The programme will help us provide digital skills to young women as part of our holistic plan to decrease the number of school leavers and continue with a programme of retraining, reskilling, and upskilling the Maltese workforce.

Parliamentary Secretary Aaron Farrugia urged beneficiaries of this programme to continue to explore further opportunities through EU-funded programmes, such as investing in skills, access to employment, the VASTE programme which helps vulnerable people to enter the workforce, and Business Enhance which provides grants for small businesses and startups.

This is an exciting time for women. After registering a spike in the number of women elected to the European Parliament, I look forward to the next legislature to see the fruit of the positive measures being taken locally to increase the number of women in the Maltese Parliament, said Parliamentary Secretary Farrugia, adding that government is providing a number of initiatives and incentives to ensure that women can move from welfare to workforce, even through European funds.

Ms Dana Farrugia, CEO at Tech.MT stressed that although the success and fast evolution of our digital economy is satisfactory, the risk of exclusion is real, and it must be ensured that no one remains on the outside looking in on technological evolution. It is encouraging to see the government fully committed to reducing the digital divide and organisations coming together today to support this collaborative framework. Thanks to this commitment we can ensure that women and young girls are truly allowed to decide their future and regain their destiny, she concluded.

The project will be implemented in other countries including Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Romania and Spain and the total amount of funds allocated is that of Euros 2.7 million, from which Malta is to benefit from Euros 346,672 through the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment between September 2018 and August 2021.

Women4IT’s aim is to develop digital competences and thereby the employability of young women (15-29 years of age) at risk of exclusion from the labour market, as well as to provide innovative solutions to increase the number of young women in ICT careers and women participating in the digital economy. The project will mainly target unemployed young women, women without targeted education, women following maternity leave and women coming from low income/disadvantaged families.

The initiative will pursue its goals through awareness-raising, skills assessment, innovative partnerships with employers, the development of a new online employability profiling tool, and through training and guidance towards employment in digital jobs.

Source: Government of Malta

PRESS RELEASE BY THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARIAT FOR FINANCIAL SERVICES, DIGITAL ECONOMY AND INNOVATION AND THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARIAT FOR EUROPEAN FUNDS AND SOCIAL DIALOGUE

Launch of ‘Women4IT’ initiative � a European funded project aimed to increase vulnerable young women in the digital agenda

Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation Silvio Schembri and Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds and Social Dialogue Aaron Farrugia launched the Women4IT initiative, a European funded project aimed at increasing the numbers of girls and young women in the digital agenda. Women4IT also aims at addressing structural transformation of the labour market due to the growing digital society in which there are significantly fewer women than men.

Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation Silvio Schembri explained that the aim of the project is to design and experiment an innovative employment solution for women in the digital jobs sector. This European funded project will serve as a springboard which will see the insertion of a hundred young women into digital jobs through the provision of awareness-raising, training and employments related to digital job opportunities, said Parliamentary Secretary Schembri, whilst adding that this will be done through the participators’ engagement strategy with stakeholders and employers to support the ambitions of these young women.

Silvio Schembri explained that the lack of women’s participation within the ICT sector is a scenario that is being experienced across the EU member states. In 2017, the gender employment gap amounted to 11.6 percentage points across the EU, with a 76.9% employment rate for men and 65.3% for women. To reach the Europe 2020 target of a 75% employment rate for both women and men, particular attention needs to be devoted to the labour market participation of women.

As a country, we have improved a lot within the digital space, now becoming a main point of reference, yet we are still lagging behind in women participation. If addressed now, the digital sector could be the first sector where we could see women on par with men, said Parliamentary Secretary Schembri.

Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds and Social Dialogue Aaron Farrugia said that this project is a significant one in which Malta is partnering with a number of other countries, including Norway, which is the largest donor country within the EEA through Norway’s financial mechanisms. He said that the amount of Norwegian funds have increased from Euros 3 million to Euros 8 million in this programming period, and are focusing on reducing socio-economic disparities in Malta.

The programme will help us provide digital skills to young women as part of our holistic plan to decrease the number of school leavers and continue with a programme of retraining, reskilling, and upskilling the Maltese workforce.

Parliamentary Secretary Aaron Farrugia urged beneficiaries of this programme to continue to explore further opportunities through EU-funded programmes, such as investing in skills, access to employment, the VASTE programme which helps vulnerable people to enter the workforce, and Business Enhance which provides grants for small businesses and startups.

This is an exciting time for women. After registering a spike in the number of women elected to the European Parliament, I look forward to the next legislature to see the fruit of the positive measures being taken locally to increase the number of women in the Maltese Parliament, said Parliamentary Secretary Farrugia, adding that government is providing a number of initiatives and incentives to ensure that women can move from welfare to workforce, even through European funds.

Ms Dana Farrugia, CEO at Tech.MT stressed that although the success and fast evolution of our digital economy is satisfactory, the risk of exclusion is real, and it must be ensured that no one remains on the outside looking in on technological evolution. It is encouraging to see the government fully committed to reducing the digital divide and organisations coming together today to support this collaborative framework. Thanks to this commitment we can ensure that women and young girls are truly allowed to decide their future and regain their destiny, she concluded.

The project will be implemented in other countries including Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Romania and Spain and the total amount of funds allocated is that of Euros 2.7 million, from which Malta is to benefit from Euros 346,672 through the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment between September 2018 and August 2021.

Women4IT’s aim is to develop digital competences and thereby the employability of young women (15-29 years of age) at risk of exclusion from the labour market, as well as to provide innovative solutions to increase the number of young women in ICT careers and women participating in the digital economy. The project will mainly target unemployed young women, women without targeted education, women following maternity leave and women coming from low income/disadvantaged families.

The initiative will pursue its goals through awareness-raising, skills assessment, innovative partnerships with employers, the development of a new online employability profiling tool, and through training and guidance towards employment in digital jobs.

Source: Government of Malta