A synergy to promote digitilisation

A synergy to promote digitilisation

Malta Communications Authority CEO Jesmond Bugeja and eSkills Malta Foundation chief administrator Carm Cachia speak about their recently-formalised partnership.

The MCA and eSkills Malta Foun­dation recently signed a memorandum of understanding. What is it all about?

The MCA has long been involved in helping the public to explore opportunities that come with living in a digital society. As part of its regulatory remit, the MCA is bound to ensure the public is made aware of several areas that we regulate, including eCommerce. The eCommerce Directive is, in fact, heavily focused on ensuring that consumers are aware of their rights online, as well as growing awareness of the opportunities eCommerce can bring to businesses selling online.

The eSkills Malta Foundation’s core mission, on the other hand, is to foster and increase the level of digital skills among the local population with a focus on the education, SME training and the IT profession.

We thus see a synergy between the two entities and this MoU allows us to work together and to offer the eBiznify eCommerce training programme in a concerted effort for the benefit of society.

Is the MoU limited to eBiznify or does it go beyond the eCommerce programme?

The eSkills Malta Foundation is a national coalition with founding members coming from education, industry and government. The MCA is one of the founding members and we have already collaborated on other initiatives. The MOU is specific mostly to eBiznify as we believe that at present it is a deliverable that can be of great support to local sellers as they adjust to the new realities brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The need to go online and provide e-commerce services is not new. However, the pandemic has put further pressure on sellers to offer their services and wares online as today’s buyers expect to engage with retailers through multiple channels, especially the internet.

Going forward, we aim to keep our partnership active by joining forces on other fronts that we believe share a common final objective. Both organisations are heavily involved in the digital sector, and thus we envisage other projects will be delivered in unison in future.

What is the eBiznify programme and what does it cover?

The eBiznify programme has been a major deliverable of the National eCommerce Strategy, which the MCA published in 2014 and spans till the end of this year. At the time, the MCA had found a significant knowledge gap among local businesses in relation to digital technology and an appetite for offering their products and services via an e-commerce channel.

eBiznify aims to address this gap in a direct manner. It offers attendees an accredited training programme that is offered online, at zero cost for the attendee. This format is ideal for people who do not have the time to attend classroom sessions as they can access all the content virtually through any internet-connected device.

The programme covers various major areas in relation to e-commerce, including website design, shipping and logistics, data analytics, payment management and online marketing, to name but a few. It is also accredited to MQF Level 4, thus providing attendees with a certificate of merit on successful completion.

The synergy created by this partnership will help both entities reach a wider segment of the population and hence generate greater interest and involvement in the initiatives being rolled out.

The first intake of eBiznify un­der this MCA and eSkills Foundation collaboration was launch­ed last month by Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services and Digital Economy Clayton Bar­tolo at a virtual press conference. At the launch he said: “Notwithstanding the negatives that the pandemic brought to our way of life, there is no better time to ensure that we increase the upskilling of our local workforce in the digital economic sector.

“Through this programme, the government will highlight to our local entrepreneurs the significance of adopting an online business model, especially now that buying from the internet is expected to soar when compared to previous months.

“Two years down the line from the launch of the eBiznify programme, I am optimistic that the sterling work being done by the MCA and the eSkills Malta Foundation on this training programme will bring us much more closer to our vision: creating a future-proof platform for SMEs, where online commerce becomes an integral part in the way business is conducted in our country.”

eBiznify is part-financed by the European Union under the European Social Fund – European Structural and Investment Funds 2014-2020. For more information on the MCA and eSkills Malta Foundation, visit eskills.org.mt mca.org.mt​