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Malta-based iGaming Academy Ltd and UK-based Rubik Talent Ltd have announced a “first of its kind” partnership seeking “to address the digital talent shortage felt across the iGaming industry”.

Under the agreement, the iGaming Academy will provide Rubik graduate trainees with an industry focused iGaming education before they proceed to full stack software development or data engineering as part of the Rubik Academy.

Discussing the partnership in a joint announcement, the companies said: “The iGaming industry is going through mass digitisation and global expansion as a result of modernising legislation and COVID-19. This combined industry and technology-focused training will be the first of its kind of the iGaming industry”.

Both organisations commented that they “are further committed to developing career opportunities for underrepresented groups and improving diversity and inclusion across iGaming”.

The skills shortage in iGaming has been long reported as having a particularly pronounced impact in Malta, which has seen job growth outpace the availability of skilled workers.

In 2018, a study carried out by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) reported 781 unfilled positions in Malta’s iGaming industry, which was equivalent to one out of every eight employees.

“This necessitates specialised training which should be complemented by basic education efforts”, the Authority concluded.

However, along with increasing the demand for certain categories of skilled staff, COVID has also helped ease the threat of a looming staff shortage.

Pre-COVID, stakeholders and experts in Malta’s industry were warning that rising costs of living and declining quality of life in Malta were making it harder for employers to acquire skilled staff from abroad.

Rising rent prices forced companies to offer more and more lucrative relocation packages and higher salaries, creating a candidates’ market, where salaries, living costs and compensation were being inflated without a rise in staff proficiency.

Fortunately, however, the pandemic has seen cost of living on the island decline and rent price plummet, leaving the iGaming job market in Malta above its pre-COVID levels.

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