By Annette Chrysostomou
SOME 13,000 new jobs are expected to be created over the next decade, with an important contribution by the human resource development authority (HRDA) that will reduce problems in employment, Labour minister Zeta Emilianidou said on Thursday.
“An allocation of €130m from the European Union social cohesion fund will cover the programmes for reducing unemployment which are going to be developed by the ministry of labour for 2016,” Emilianidou said, stressing that the ministry’s aim for next year will be to reduce youth unemployment and long-term unemployed.
“For 2016, the aim is to support young people which for us is very important because our young people are the future and the long-term unemployed,” she said during the annual review of the HRDA’s activities.
The minister stated that she cannot say how many unemployed will be covered by the programmes for subsidised placements, because the ministry has not yet determined the objectives regarding the number of unemployed, and the amount of wage costs which are going to be covered.
Emilianidou added that President Anastasiades has already announced projects involving vulnerable groups and schemes to hire carers.
“We have some projects which we will announce by the end of the year,” she added, saying that the carer schemes will cover the unemployed who will be trained to become certified caregivers.
Despite the ongoing subsidised training programmes, the unemployment rate among young people has not decreased with the labour minister explaining that the aim was not to remove those who are placed in job training from the unemployment register so that they don’t lose their turn in the event of finding a job.
“So the numbers will stay the same and you will see no difference because of the schemes,” she warned.
Indicatively, labour department director Alexandros Alexandrou stated that the unemployment rate in the UK decreased by three to four per cent due to the utilisation of training programmes, a policy not adopted by Cyprus.
HRDA board chairman Dimitris Kittenis said that in 2014 a total of €20m was spent on training activities and 35,577 people were entered in 4,736 training programmes approved and subsidised by the authority. The training and work experience schemes lasts six months.
The director general of the HRDA, George Panagides, said that based on reviews carried out by the authority, the percentage of young graduates who remain employed after the six-month training period is 50 per cent.
Kittenis also referred to the HRDA’s projections for employment needs in 52 sectors of economic activity and 309 professions in the decade 2014 to 2024, saying that the vast majority of employees will continue to be concentrated in the services sector, which is increasing significantly.
According to HRDA projections, prepared on the basis of macroeconomic forecasts of the Troika and the ministry of finance and based on new developments such as the discovery of natural gas and the creation of a casino resoirt, it is expected that in the next ten years around 13,000 jobs will be created, of which 4,600 will be new jobs and the remaining 7,700 will be positions arising from permanent withdrawals from the labour market.