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ESF 2.72: EPITOME: Empowerment Programme for IT use: outreach for micro entrapreneurship

Project Cost: €299,577
Beneficiary: Malta Communications Authority
Line Ministry: Ministry for the Economy, Investment and Small Business
Start Date: 2010
End Date: 2014

Non Technical Short Summary Of Project

The EPITOME project developed and delivered a training curriculum on ICT as a robust entrepreneurial tool. Besides enhancing the ICT skills, the curriculum provided participants with a set of entrepreneurial-oriented skills with a view to improve the flexibility and competitiveness of the Maltese worker in an increasingly challenging globalized economic environment.

Operational Programme: OPII Empowering People for More Jobs and a Better Quality of Life ESF
Fund: European Social Fund
Operational Objective: To increase the participation rate in lifelong learning.
Priority Axis: PA2 Investing in employability and adaptability of the workforce
Focus Area Of Intervention: OPIIPA2 Continuous training and education.
Focus Area of Intervention: OPIIPA2 Supporting the private sector.
Focus Area of Intervention: OPIIPA2 Innovative activities.

Project Objectives

The overall objective of the project is to increase the number of adults acquiring sound ICT skills fooundation with a focus on entrapreneurship, thereby making them more employableand stimultation of competitiveness in the face of the economic changes and the increasingly thougher changes of globalisation.

Project Results

1. By the end of the project, 300 individuals would have been trained professionally in the use of ICT as applied to the business environment and its specific requirements, and they would thus be better equipped to contribute in an economy faced by new business models and the challenges of globalisation. Moreover, the MCA will be in possession of a curriculum that may be updated overtime to reflect economic and technological developments. The direct socio-economic results will be more individuals who are ICT literate, more employable and adaptable, and more entrapreneurial. 2. It is expected that 30% of the applicants representing 50 micro-enterprises obtaining a qualification, will have implemented at least one new ICT-based business practice in their business operations. Being fully aware of the custumary resistance to change of micro-enterprises the implementation of such new practices may take several months to effectively materialise. In this light the MCA is committing itself to achieve this result in two phases, whereby 15% (equivalant to 25 micro-enterprises) will have adopted a new ICT business practice by the completion of the tracer study in December 2012 whilst the remaining 15% will have been achieved by June 2013 in a second tracer study funded directyly by MCA. 3. The MCA is also committing itself to provide training for 10 Gozitan participants in Gozo and that 3 of whom will have also implemented new business practices in their respective micro-enterprise by the completion date of the second phase of the tracer study. After the termination of the of training the participants will be followed up on a two-monthly basis or more frequently as deemed necessary until December 2012 in order to monitor the level of new business practice integration into their business processes. The level of ICT-usage if any, of each applicant/represented enterprise will be determined at the beginning of the course through a simple questioonaire, which will be used to benchmark the progress in terms of new business practices adopted. 4. The MCA commits itself to spend up to 0.5% of the total project budget (Eur1,800) on media productions dedicated to Gozo and on Gozitan Community radios. This campaign will be financed from the TV and radio spots publicity budget. 5. Guided by the experience gained during the implementation of the course and particularly by the conclusions of the tracer study the MCA is additionally committing itself to run two further modified reruns of the course on a cost recovery basis within 5 years following the completion of the Epitome project. These two courses may necessitate a revision in the original version of the curriculum to better suite the realities of the micro-enterprises then as well as to render the course more appealing to future participants - such modifications are difficult to anticipate at such an early stage but may well include a shorter course or course split in different modules.

Project Purpose

The specific objecctives to be achieved by implementing the project are: 1. to identify the ICT and entrapreneurial training needs of the Maltese labour force; 2. to develop and deliver a training curriculum to address the skill gaps identified; 3. to create an e-learning portal for course materials, blogs and forums; 4. to support the course with seminars and publicity campaigns.