New skills need to match the opportunities offered by the digital economy and ensures that no one is left behind, the Malta Employers Association director general Joseph Farrugia said on Thursday.
Speaking at the National SME Forum, Farrugia called for an overhaul in the STEM curriculum to make it accessible for more children. He noted that the country has a resilient economy but at the same time stressed that Malta has to be proactive in combining reskilling and digitalisation strategies that prepare for a more inclusive future.
Farrugia warned against a possible scenario where there are 800 vacancies in the iGaming sector while at the same time hundreds of other people employed. He highlighted that the new skills need to match the opportunities offered by the digital economy.
The preparation for resilience requires investments and effort by employers, MEA President Dolores Sammut Bonnici explained, adding that this would also open new opportunities for business and better quality of life.
Economy Minister Silvio Schembri warned that unless businesses adapt to new technologies and skills, they would die a natural death.
Parliamentary Secretary Clayton Bartolo noted that Malta has the right conditions to attract new industry niches such as high-performance computing, e-sports, and big data. He underlined that these industry demand a new skills strategy.
Opposition spokesperson Kristy Debono warned that unless SMEs are supported in their digital transformation, the digital divide between small and large enterprises would continue to grow.
The event was hosted by the Malta Employers Association, the forum was organised in collaboration with the Economy Ministry and the Parliamentary Secretariat for Digital Economy as part of the official Malta SME Week programme on the occasion of the European SME Week 2020.