The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), through its Information & Research Unit, has conducted a survey (second of its kind) among its licensed remote gaming operators in order to obtain a better understanding of the existing skills gap in the gaming industry.
The MGA’s Chief Officer of Finance & Programme Management, responsible for the Information & Research Unit, Peter Spiteri said: “We are pleased to publish the second paper on the Skill Gap Affecting the Online Gaming Industry with a view to shed light on the current state of play regarding human capital found on the island. Recent figures published by MGA through its Interim Performance Report indicate that 69% of employees in the online gaming sector are non-Maltese, highlighting the need for expatriate workers to sustain the ever-increasing demand of the industry. Whilst acknowledging that significant milestones have been achieved through the establishment of the European Gaming Institute of Malta as well as Gaming Malta’s Student Placement Programme initiative, the study indicates that there is significant potential for the local educational system to contribute in addressing the continuous thirst of the industry for a skilled workforce.”
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The following are the key highlights from this survey:
- A total of 730 unfilled positions have been reported by the online gaming companies in Malta as at the end of 2018;
- 68% of unfilled vacancies are primarily at the operational level;
- The majority (69%) of the vacancies remained unfilled for no more than three months;
- Lack of work experience (28%), competition from other firms (27%) and lack of qualifications (21%) are the main reasons for unfilled vacancies;
- According to the survey results, more than one-third of the operators recruit personnel employed by other firms in the sector;
- 35% of firms engage in in-house training activities or mentoring in order to tackle skill shortages;
- The recruitment of workers immediately after the completion of their formal education was reported by 9% of the surveyed firms, confirming the potentially stronger role which could be played by educational institutions;
- Several policy efforts have been made to ensure that training courses are aligned with the industry’s needs. In 2017, the European Gaming Institute of Malta (EGIM) was launched following an agreement signed between the MGA and Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST). In 2018, 56 students applied for the iGaming Diploma at MCAST, and an additional 43 enrolled between January and mid-November 2019;
- By mid-November 2019, 58 students enrolled for the Award in iGaming course at the iGaming Academy – a joint collaboration between the MCAST and EGIM;
- In 2019, 21 students were selected and matched with seven companies through the Gaming Malta’s Student Placement Programme, an initiative that aims to reduce the mismatch which exists between the supply and demand for gaming skills in the Maltese labour market;
- The majority of the surveyed companies expressed their satisfaction with the training offerings in Malta; however, between 15% and 20% of the respondents indicated that more needs to be done with respect to the availability, quality and value for money of the training opportunities in Malta.
A full copy of the survey can be downloaded from here.