By Constantinos Psilides
LABOUR and social insurance minister Zeta Aimilianidou announced yesterday that in 2014 the government will unveil two more initiatives to battle youth unemployment.
The minister, speaking at the opening of a two-day job fair organised by the European Employment Services (EURES) and the EU commission offices in Cyprus, did not specify what those two initiatives would be or what they would entail, but she said that battling youth unemployment is a priority for the government.
Aimilianidou also talked about the youth guarantee initiative, an EU plan that aims to guarantee that no person under 25 should be left without a job or an internship, four months after they finished studying or is fired from a previous job.
“Our goal is to utilise all forms of funding the EU has to offer regarding youth unemployement,” said the minister.
Speaking about the job fair, Aimilianidou said that “our goal is to inform people on the chances of securing a job at another European country. We want to give them whatever they need to succeed in that endeavour, if they choose that path”.
When asked whether the Cypriot government is pushing young people away, education and culture minister Kyriakos Kenevezos said earlier this week that the governments’ job is to “provide youth with options and not shut doors”.
Youth unemployment in Europe is at a national average of 23%. In Cyprus that number is almost double, with unemployment among young people now reaching 44%.
The job fair is being held at the Filoxenia convention centre in Nicosia and ends at 5pm todat. Visitors can get information on job vacancies in Cyprus and the EU, talk with recruitment agents, learn more about the living conditions of other European countries, as well as be informed about all the programmes regarding research funding and job placement being funded by the EU.
One of those programmes is the Erasmus Plus initiative that places young entrepreneurs in business all around Europe so they can learn to handle day-to-day operation issues and get new ideas about their own business. The funding covers travelling and living expenses. The Erasmus Plus initiative operates through the University of Cyprus.