MCAST and Chamber of Commerce working to address staff shortages in various sectors
The skills required in the educational sector to satisfy the needs of industry was the topic of discussion between the Chamber of Commerce and MCAST who together with the Government have agreed on the need for collaboration with the aim of addressing the shortage of workers in various sectors. This approach can encourage more students to embark on specialised courses so that when they finish their academic studies they can be integrated into the workforce much more quickly.
During the conference entitled Foresight 2030: Resetting Education and Skills in a post-Covid period, the need for further collaboration between industry and MCAST college were discussed with the aim of addressing trade positions, jobs and careers where there are vacancies to encourage more students to enter these sectors. Among the jobs which have already been identified are those in mechanical engineering, electronics, the arts, finances and investment.
The CEO of the Chamber of Commerce, Dr Marthese Portelli, said that for the country to keep moving forward there needs to be a direct link between industry and education and vice-versa.
“That is why this colloquium was held today where we are collaborating with MCAST not only to identify the skills gap but also to plan for the future and this can only be done if education and industry work hand in hand where we will not only identify where we wish to go as a country but to also ensure that our students will be given the best opportunity to obtain the best education.”
The MCAST Principal, Prof James Calleja, said that with this dialogue, more visibility will be given to the workplace and education will be brought closer to the working world.
“This process had already started but we are intensifying it now with the Chamber of Commerce to identify which sectors need which new skills or more updated skills. This process will take a while but we are hoping that even in the next academic year there will be changes to our programmes and in the training we give to students.”
Education Minister Justyne Caruana referred to the Future of Jobs Report which showed that 50% of employees will need to update their skills by 2025 as technology continues to be a more important factor at the workplace.
“It is important to emphasis collaboration with industry and that is why we need to talk, and then analyse what the various sectors require so that we can prepare the educational framework to prepare students accordingly.”
Minister Caruana said that there are almost 3 million Euro allocated for this year and next year from the apprenticeship scheme for MCAST students. She said that this fund is proof of the Government’s commitment to provide financial support to the industry.