Malta Digital Skills Bootcamps
The Malta Digital Skills Bootcamp is an annual training opportunity for skilling, upskilling and reskilling organised by the Maltese National Coalition, the eSkills Malta Foundation, which started in 2019, with the first two Bootcamps: Summer Coding Bootcamp and the Women in ICT Bootcamp.
For the first edition in 2019, the initiative focused on the education sector, addressing students, teachers, and girls. In 2020, the Summer Bootcamp opened to include a wider audience, also involving more trainers, sessions and participants. The expansion of the Summer Bootcamp continued in the following two years. During the COVID pandemic all sessions continued virtually and remotely. For 2021 and 2022, thanks to a boost in funding by the National Coalition, the activities were organised across the whole year expanding further the audience and the areas and, due this expansion, the initiative name changed to Annual Digital Bootcamp. The initiative continued to expand over the years to include additional activities targeting workers, citizens at large, and ICT specialists (employees and team and business leaders, youth, adults and senior citizens, trainees and working practitioners etc.). The initial topics of the training were more general, while, with its evolution, the initiative started to focus more on national requirements. In 2019, topics included basic and advanced coding-related skills and, digital skills for education and employment. In 2022, the initiative included 10 themes and focused more on topics related to the Digital Decade.
The quality of the initiative is ensured through the review of the course, training or event content. Furthermore, training providers must reach a minimum number of participants in their courses, training sessions and events, and participants must attend 80% of related course.
In terms of results and impact, in 2022, the Digital Bootcamp has involved 16 training providers, which have organised sixty courses, training sessions and events, reaching over 320 participants. Over the years, the Digital Bootcamp has involved over 48 training providers, and organised over 136 courses and training sessions, reaching over 960 participants. Worth mentioning is a course specifically dedicated to teachers during the pandemic that reached over 5,000 participants. The Digital Bootcamp has also influenced the increase of Malta’s ranking in the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI).
The sustainability of the initiative grew over the years when benefits started to emerge and the focus shifted to addressing specific requirements and needs for upskilling and reskilling, at national and European level. The impact was recognised by the National Coalition members, government and stakeholders and resulted in increased funding.