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The myPotential scheme, which used to financially assist students in ICT/Science courses, will be extended to other sectors including financial services, which are in high demand in the tiny Southern European republic of Malta (413,000 inhabitants).
Finance Minister Tonio Fenech announced the scheme extension during the opening of the eighth Banif Bank branch in the city of Fgura.
This is good news for employers and recruiting agencies as talent in financial services are the ones most looked for at the moment. Talent in sales and healthcare are also two sectors that are most sought after.
Various employment agencies, which preferred not to be named, had confirmed to the 'Malta Independent' newspaper that the supply of qualified people in the financial services with accounting in particular is quite low.
Spokespersons for various recruitment agencies, also confirmed that finding people to work in the financial sector is proving difficult while sales positions are also not easy to fill. They pointed out that filling a post with a technically competent, motivated and committed person is a complex task, while also remarking that Maltese universities are doing a good job at preparing people.
In the current time of economic uncertainty employment trends may be unclear, but the financial services sector still looks advantageous. Finance-related posts, such as in financial law, corporate services, tax compliance and company formation sectors are growing.
In the meantime the staffing agencies observed that job opportunities in IT are slowly declining. In their views the government hyped up focus on IT opportunities especially through the myPotential scheme yet the future of the IT industry is now unclear.
"Our objective is to supply the labour market with skilled workers in the areas where our economy is seeking and achieving growth, particularly in view of our longer-term objectives related to vision 2015," said the minister during the opening.
The scheme will be administered by Malta Enterprise, which has been given the responsibility to approve support through tax credit to courses in any sector required by local industry when such courses are not provided for by the state through universities. Moreover, the government decided to extend the scheme eligibility to those courses exceeding three years.
Minister Fenech explained that the previous scheme which applied for ICT and sciences meant an investment of over 8 million Euro over the last three years. Over 2,000 companies and individuals benefited from the scheme over the past three years. The new scheme will be entirely focused on individuals.