Parliamentary Assistant within the Ministry for Infrastructure, Transport and Communications Charló Bonnici speaks to IT students at MCAST
Parliamentary Assistant within the Ministry for Infrastructure, Transport and Communications Charló Bonnici yesterday inaugurated an HP Education Centre at the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST).
The centre at MCAST was spurred by a collaboration agreement signed in December 2010 between the Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA) and MCAST with Hewlett-Packard (HP).
Bonnici said that the root of future competitiveness in Malta lies in the education system. “We need to continue increasing our stakes in the ICT revolution for Malta to provide a competitive resource base for our businesses and attract foreign investment.”
Aside from a stable and secure environment, prospective companies also seek to invest in countries which have a skilled, flexible and responsive labour market. “These are the reasons why companies come here, remain here, and in turn, create jobs,” Bonnici concluded.
The HP Education Centre will cater for young individuals by making necessary industry-based curriculum, resources and equipment available.
The Centre is intended to represent an opportunity for growth not only for the students, but also for the teaching staff at the ICT Institute.
As part of the initiative, MCAST staff is being provided with necessary training material to ensure that both students and educators have the necessary expertise in the latest industry developments.
The Centre will host its first students during the new academic year and will provide focused courses in various areas such as blade technology, networking, virtualisation and cloud computing.
Herbert Rastbichler, HP Vice President and Managing Director for Central and Eastern Europe said that the collaboration between HP and MCAST will allow us to share our knowledge and establish the groundwork for “young professionals who in a few years time will be building Malta’s IT infrastructure.”
MCAST Principal and CEO Prof. Maurice Grech said that ongoing collaborations with the industry and the Government, and the College’s investment in Continued Professional Development for all staff, will ensure that courses continue to provide students with the necessary qualifications and experience to achieve successful careers in the industry within a short period of time.
“The HP Education Centre presents students with another opportunity to enhance their practical competencies using the latest industry-standard high end technologies. Through such experience, our graduates will be able to combine theory and practice at their place of work. The practical context will boost creativity and innovation - the driving forces of any forward-looking, successful economy,” Grech said.
The main aim of such agreements between Government, education entities and ICT multinational companies is intended to stimulate more students to take up a career in ICT.
This is in line with other Government initiatives, such as the eSkills Alliance Malta which comprises of industry players, educational institutions and Government representation – all of which are working together to ensure that labour market intelligence is available, to promote coherent standards and ICT qualifications and to strengthen the career of ICT professionals.