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New ICT course for small businesses

A second call for Epitome, a tailor-made course in ICT for SMEs, microenterprises and the self-employed, has been launched after 89 people received a certificate for completing the first course.

This free training is offered as part of the project co-financed by the Europ-ean Social Fund and National Funds.

It is designed to help small businesses and the self-employed benefit from tailored training in ICT applications that assists them to become more efficient in their operations, besides increasing their competitiveness.

The courses are organised by the Malta Communications Authority.

A study carried out to identify market needs found several skills shortages among Malta’s small enterprises, including lack of knowledge on how to create a client database and of how to take advantage of most productivity applications like a word processor and presentation software. The study also found no ICT was being used for stock control, planning and procurement of materials, and many small businesses had no skills to build or maintain a basic website and exploit it for business. Several businesses were not aware of how to use internet banking and social media for marketing.

The MCA said feedback from participants of the first course was positive.

Anthony Depasquale from Qormi runs a pharmacy, a family business. He “thoroughly enjoyed” the course and described the topics covered as very good, useful and relevant to the business.

Anna Vella from Żejtun runs a small company importing pet care products.

Thanks to the training she says she is now conducting cash-flow analysis using office applications.

The 20-week training is aimed at addressing skills gaps such as the use of the internet in business, more effective use of ICT, and how businesses can maintain a positive relationship with the client base. Training in Malta will be offered at St Martin Institute for Information Technology in Blata l-Bajda and at Smart City in Kalkara. Training in Gozo will be delivered at a training centre in Rabat.

Participants who successfully complete the course will be awarded an MQF Level 3 certificate, which is recognised by the Malta Qualifications Council.

www.epitome.eu

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