A Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot bicommunal internship programme has been so successful that interns have been offered permanent jobs in companies of the other community, organisers of the project said on Monday.
Forty young professionals – 20 Greek Cypriots and 20 Turkish Cypriots – had the opportunity to work as trainees in 31 companies in the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot community as part of the activities of a bicommunal internship programme organised by the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) and the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce.
The closing ceremony of the programme – which is part of the activities of the ‘Leading by Example project’ co-funded by the European Union and by the Cypriot Civil Society in Action IV. – was held on Monday in the House of Cooperation located in Nicosia in the buffer zone.
The project, which started in May 2015 and ended this month, aimed to provide 40 Cypriot university graduates, between the ages of 20 and 35, work experience in the other community.
It helped them acquire valuable skills for their later careers and an excellent knowledge of the working and cultural environment of the other community.
CCCI senior manager Leonidas Paschalidis said that in some cases companies decided to extend the duration of the internship at their own expense, or even offered permanent work to the trainees.
“We have proved that we can work together and that if everyone thinks this way a solution will be able to work,” he said, and thanked the European Commission for funding the project.
European Commission spokeswoman, Charlotte Goghon, said that the programme has fostered understanding and facilitated the enhancement of business opportunities on both sides of the Green Line.
“This is also an important way in which young people can contribute to the business sectors of their communities,” she said.