Can close links with the IT industry work?

I spent a few days in Malta, courtesy of Malta Enterprise, which promotes overseas investment.

What struck me about the Maltese is the extent the government has gone to attract IT investment. Among the most public is a deal with Microsoft, which has given every Maltese citizen the option to buy MS software, including the serious Visual Studio development environment, at a heavily discounted price. What’s more, those who wish to, can take a course to become a Microsoft Certified Professional, effectively pay nothing for the tuition, as the course fees are offset against tax when that person starts work.

The result is a highly skilled, growing workforce of IT professionals with .net programming skills, fuelling high tech industries. Sure Malta only has a population of around 400,000 and want to build a hi-tech sector. Nevertheless, I believe we can learn a thing or two from Malta.If only such alliances could be forged over here, even at a local level.