Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation Silvio Schembri launched the National eSkills Strategy 2019-2021, making Malta the first EU member state to have a national strategy for digital skills.
Schembri explained that the strategy seeks to pave the way for the enhancing of our digital skills as a nation and ultimately prepares for the challenges ahead in an ever-evolving digital scenario. “The past few years have seen the unprecedented rise of digital and communication technologies, which together with the digital economy, have dramatically changed every aspect of life as we know it. For our country to thrive within this context we need to furnish tomorrow’s generations with the right skills and training”, said Parliamentary Secretary Schembri.
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He added that despite the fact that as a country we are increasingly adapting to new emerging technology such as AI, the Internet of Things and blockchain, we lag behind in terms of including and encouraging female participation in this sector. “A concern that as a Government we are committed to address front-to-front is the lack of female participation in the digital workforce. It is estimated that if women were to enter the digital jobs market, it could create an annual €16 billion GDP for the European economy. Hence, it is of utmost importance to identify what is holding women back in pursuing a career in this sector”, said the Parliamentary Secretary.
“While we are at the forefront in new emerging sectors, as a Government we’re determined to increase female participation in the digital sector”
Parliamentary Secretary Silvio Schembri
Carm Cachia, the Chief Administrator of eSkills Foundation
Carm Cachia, the Chief Administrator of eSkills Foundation, said that the National eSkills agenda seeks to develop a larger digital talent pool and to ensure that individuals and the labour force are equipped with adequate digital skills. Since 2017, member states of the EU have been invited to develop comprehensive national digital skills strategies, and in this respect, Malta is one of the first few countries to specifically step up to this challenge.
The National eSkills Strategy 2019-2021 gives strong strategic direction and trajectory, providing a set of recommendations with possible initiatives that Malta can undertake. Key recommendations include the adoption of a rolling strategy, training for SMEs in terms of applied emerging technologies for economic growth, developing local talent, focusing on the youth, shifting young people towards being participative rather than just consumers of technology, and assessing digital skills in education, amongst other relevant recommendations.
Source: Press Release by the Parliamentary Secretariat for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation
Photo Credits: Clodagh Farrugia O'Neil