Publish in core platform
Digital technology / specialisationDigital skills
Digital skill levelBasic
Geographic Scope - CountryMalta
Type of initiative
Article by Bernadette Zerafa published in The Malta Independent on Sunday 19th February 2023
The Foundation kept up its relentless efforts in 2022 to considerably increase digital skills in Malta. Local and European results obtained by the Foundation in 2022 indicate the accomplishment of this exact goal! This was accomplished by achieving several major milestones.
Digital Skills and Jobs Platform
The Digital Skills and Jobs Platform was developed in collaboration with national stakeholders and the European Commission. By offering a wide range of high-quality information, resources, and opportunities relevant to the area of digital skills and jobs at all levels, from very basic to advanced, the platform aims to accelerate digital upskilling across Europe. The development of the National Digital Skills and Jobs Platform is one of the Foundation’s most significant turning points and a great accomplishment for Malta. This website offers excellent tools, initiatives, and data on digital employment and skills across Europe and beyond. Additionally, it offers a setting for socialising, networking and exchanging ideas with professionals and peers. It gives the Foundation great pleasure to serve as the platform’s national partner. The Foundation has been working relentlessly on Malta’s new Digital Skills and Jobs Platform throughout 2022.
Launch of the National eSkills Strategy 2022 2025
Another major milestone for the Foundation was the launch of the National eSkills Strategy 2022-2025. Four significant governmental organisations took part in a conference, organised by the Ministry for the Economy, European Funds, and Lands in the latter part of November 2022, to launch this strategy with other national strategies. Each organisation launched a unique strategy that complements the overarching Malta Digitali strategy. According to the eSkills Malta Foundation, the National eSkills Strategy 2022–2025 lays out a plan for a concerted effort to develop the abilities, expertise, and mindsets of participants in the education, business, government, and ICT sectors. This strives to ensure that the Maltese generation, both now and in the future, is well prepared for the current and future digital world, both at work and in their daily social and professional connections. The National eSkills Strategy 2022–2025 addresses the four pillars of education, society, the labour market, and ICT professionals. The plan intends to make it possible to achieve specific goals while taking into account the domestic national, sectoral, and specialised policies and activities that have an impact on the field of digital skills. It assesses Malta’s possibilities and challenges in terms of digital skills and competencies and seeks to expand on the National eSkills Strategy 2019–2021. The activities of the eSkills Malta Foundation over the next years will support the National eSkills Strategy 2022-2025 and its goals. Carm Cachia, Chief Administrator of the Foundation, stated that ‘The strategy will give Malta more focus on the digital skills adoption, which after all is a collective responsibility by all digital skills ‘stakeholders’
The advancement of ICT professionals in Malta is one of the key objectives of the eSkills
Malta Foundation. The Foundation directs and supports the growth of ICT professionalism. In 2022 it embarked on a project about the recognition of ICT professionals and practitioners on a national level in Malta. A comprehensive survey conducted as part of the project, and which was open to everyone working in the ICT (Information and Communications Technology) sector, identified the likely percentage of ICT professionals who thought their field should be recognised as a certified profession on par with others. A study that provides a good amount of knowledge regarding the local and European scenario on the national recognition of ICT workers was then commissioned by the eSkills Malta Foundation. The study makes clear the opinions of different local stakeholders and offers several solutions for moving forward. The Foundation is very much in favour that ICT workers should receive national recognition, which will undoubtedly play a significant role in the sector’s future growth.
Like every year for the past five years, the EU CodeWeek was an outstanding success both on a national and international level. Malta registered over 500 coding activities! The 500+ events have yet again placed Malta second on the EU CodeWeek Scoreboard as the second-highest number of coding events per capita. This exceptional performance is largely credited to Malta’s Government and Church Schools’ unwavering commitment. It is important to note the unwavering commitment of the Government and Church school teachers who, under the capable leadership of the Directorate for Digital Literacy in Government Schools and the Transversal Skills and Digital Literacy team at the Secretariat for Catholic Education, Malta College of Art, Science and Technology (MCAST), were also essential to this success.
The Foundation is constantly looking for new partners to work with it during EU CodeWeek. The Foundation highly values innovation. In light of this, it worked with a local training provider and the Foundation of Educational Services (FES) this year to provide over 200 primary school pupils with robotics workshops during SkolaSajf at 30 various SkolaSajf Centers. The sessions were a great success.
Another fruitful and innovative event during EU CodeWeek was the “Nanniet u Neputijiet” (Grandparents and Grandchildren) coding workshop that was organised in collaboration with Senglea Local Council and Senglea Primary School. The programme was a big success as grandparents interacted with their grandchildren while using Scratch Junior.
Digital Skills Boot Camps and Women in ICT Events 2022
What exactly is a “Digital Bootcamp”? A programme called Digital Bootcamps is designed to help people and organisations to develop their digital skills and increase their future opportunities. This is very much in keeping with the mission of the eSkills Malta Foundation, which is to develop the digital skills of its workforce. In a world where remote work and reliance on digital technology are becoming more and more common, the eSkills Malta Foundation is committed to assisting individuals in adjusting, evolving, and prospering in modern workplaces. In light of this, the Foundation introduced a new programme in 2019 to provide funding for a fresh project called the Digital Skills Bootcamps. These bootcamps aimed to develop trainee youth and adults interested in pursuing a career in ICT, and to improve teachers’ skills and competencies using digital tools and methods.
In order to improve their quality of life, the bootcamps also teach adults, teenagers, and retirees how to safely use the internet and other emerging technologies. Everybody can benefit from the digital bootcamps regardless of their current employment circumstances. The eSkills Malta Foundation Bootcamps are perfect for people seeking a job who understand that having these extra skills will set them apart from the competition and those who are already employed and want to enhance and customise their abilities to their present position.
The eSkills Malta Foundation funding of Digital Skills Bootcamps has become more and more well-liked every year. In 2022 more than 15 training providers signed up to take part in this crucial initiative this year, and they have since developed into crucial players. There were more than 20 Digital Skills courses accessible, ranging from Upskilling Teachers to Creating ICT Specialists to Emerging Technologies for Citizens. For anyone who is working, self-employed, unemployed, or returning to the workforce after a break who wants to quickly expand their skills in a particular area, fast track into a new position, or advance in their existing employment, these Digital Abilities Bootcamps may be the ideal fit. All courses offered were free and were frequently oversubscribed.
The Ministry of Education is one of the Foundation’s key partners. The Foundation actively promotes the ICT educational system and constantly seeks to expand the quantity and calibre of resources.
It is essential for today’s life, job advancement, and future employment that one receives the proper digital education. Schools must start preparing for digital learning requirements as soon as possible. For students who are finishing their compulsory education, in 2022 the Foundation organised school visits in partnership with the Ministry of Education. These school visits are aimed at students in grades when they are able to understand the discussion’s theme and still have time to select a subject that will prepare them for a career in digital. Additionally, the speeches are specifically made to urge the children to seek a career in digital by detailing its major advantages and providing examples of actual employment. To demonstrate that the term “digital” does not only refer to coding, information on ICT roles and occupations and the competencies required is provided. This helped persuade the audience to choose a career in technology. These visits took place throughout the academic year. The Digital Skills and Jobs Platform has also incorporated these visits as a model for good practices. The Foundation took part in CodeSprint 2022, MCAST Freshers Week, and the iChoose Fair, and held a lecture seminar for guidance teachers in 2022.
Like in previous years, the eSkills Malta Foundation carried out and aided numerous other events in 2022. Amongst these include the signing of an agreement between the University of Malta, MCAST, and eSkills Malta Foundation on Training in Artificial Intelligence (AI), the EU CodeWeek Educators Program, the Cyber Root Conference, the Cybersecurity Workshop, “The ICT Workforce of Tomorrow” Workshop, the MCAST Hackathon, the Malta PI Hackathon, the Educators, SMEs and the future Labour Force Workshops on Digital Skills.
It is clear that the Foundation’s initiatives are having an impact. The Foundation is thrilled to learn that its efforts and recognition inspire it to undertake greater and better work in the years to come.
The Foundation is undoubtedly excited to get going and accomplish more in 2023!