Cyprus Mail
Business Cyprus

New €4m scheme to combat youth unemployment

7,500 young people will be employed by 2017 based on the new youth employment strategy introduced yesterday

By Andria Kades

PLANS TO hire up to 1,000 young people with a €4 million budget will be announced by the end of this year, according to Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou who was speaking at the annual conference of the Democratic Labour Federation of Cyprus (DEOK).

Aged up to 24, “our goal is to implement the strategy for youth employment putting over 7,500 young people in work, training or internships by 2017,” she said.

Measures implemented so far by the ministry have led to the announcement of nine new plans by the Cabinet with a total cost of €58 million, the minister said.

The number of registered unemployed dropped 9.1 per cent to 40,876 in May from a year earlier, according to Cystat.

Plans involve offering incentives to hire unemployed people with particular focus on those that have been out of a job for a long time. “At the same time, we are encouraging utilising plans on giving unemployed people with degrees as well as graduates of secondary and higher education, training for work experience.”

Following recommendations by the EU Youth Guarantee scheme – which says states should ensure young people under 25 find a good quality job four months after leaving school or losing a job – and the Youth Opportunities Initiative by the EU Commission, the ministry has prepared an overall €47m budget action plan to combat unemployment.

Specifically, €24m of the amount deals exclusively with policies and plans to provide job opportunities for young people. The priorities of the state, she said apart from combating unemployment is to ensure all families have adequate financial support.

DEOK general secretary Diomides Diomidous stressed the necessity of fighting for employees rights. “We have only one choice. Together, all of us will make our presence known loudly in the modern day class struggle,” and fight for rights that people sacrificed themselves for with blood and death.

He called on unions to reorganise themselves to reinforce “the organisations, unity and collective powers of workers.”

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