The biggest challenges in the country’s road to digitisation are the lack of talent and professionals and mentality, Innovation and Digitisation deputy minister Kyriacos Kokkinos told MPs.
Kokkinos said the IT sector was currently short 3,500 professionals, adding that comprehensive upskilling and reskilling programmes were needed. The minister said the country’s education system needed review but above all, there was an urgent need for a change of mentality at home regarding education.
“We have killed professional education,” Kokkinos said.
Cyprus ranked 24th out of 28 countries on the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI), which summarises indicators on Europe’s digital performance and tracks the progress of EU countries.
Kokkinos expressed the hope that proper implementation of digital policy would raise Cyprus to the middle of the table in five to seven years.
He said they have struck a deal with the UK for know-how regarding a portal that will carry a lot of government services that is expected to be ready in 12 to 14 months.
The plan, he said, is to have 250 services online by 2025, 100 in 2022, on the gov.cy portal.
In the 19 months from its creation, the ministry has set up a portal for people to apply for pandemic assistance, the health system portal, the Cyprus flight pass, a portal for school registrations, electronic town planning applications, and others.
It was also involved in the creation of the vaccination portal, which was riddled with problems in the first weeks of its operation.