The Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) and the Malta Chamber organised an Education-Industry Colloquium to discuss skill needs in the coming years. The forum entitled Foresight 2030: Resetting Education and Skills in a post-COVID period aimed to stir a pro-active discussion on anticipating the skills for the future to ensure a thriving industry with a highly-skilled workforce.
The discussion also centred around recent data showing that 50% of all employees will need reskilling by 2025, as adoption of technology increases and around 40% of workers acknowledge that they require reskilling of six months or less. The panel speakers representing different sectors and over seventy participants were encouraged to propose forward-looking actions and collaborative measures to address the situation in Malta.
Minister for Education Justyne Caruana said, “The Government will continue to ensure that the education sector, in particular MCAST, is geared up to anticipate the challenges that the country faces. We need to lead the vision of the skills required for current and future jobs in Malta. In the aftermath of the disruptive COVID-19 period, more regular dialogue with various stakeholders is necessary so that we can take immediate effective action.”
Malta Chamber President Ms Marisa Xuereb said, “We urge the industry to do its part and engage from the start of our student’s educational journey. To bridge the gap between MCAST and the industry, we must identify the shortages and needs of the industry. Thus, educational courses must ensure that these gaps are addressed and actioned upon. We should prioritise the educational experience through the involvement of business leaders to provide a more practical experience.”
MCAST Principal and CEO Professor Joachim James Calleja emphasised the importance of synergising the efforts of the education and the business sectors. “We need industry on campus, and we also need the College and its people to be in industry as frequently as possible. MCAST has recently concluded an extensive public consultation about its second Strategic Plan covering 2022-2027. We want to achieve more visibility of different scenarios that can affect the provision of education and training. Students need to be aware of the learning and work opportunities even when they are in secondary school.”