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Hospitality industry calls for foreign students to be allowed to work

By Panayiotis Kouloumas

BUSINESSES face huge losses because students from third countries are not available to take secondary jobs in the recreational sector, according to the owners of leisure establishments.

Students from third countries are not allowed to work in a sector outside the one determined by their studies causing huge problems for the food and recreational service industry, General Secretary of the Pancyprian Association of Owners of Recreation Centres (Pasika), Fanos Leventis told Cyprus Mail on Thursday.

“Students from third countries, meaning non-Cypriots and non-Europeans, cannot seek employment in a sector that is unrelated to what they are studying. This clause is dangerous as the tourist sector is actively seeking for people to employ for secondary work, and cannot find any,” he told Cyprus-Mail.

The students from third countries are only allowed to work in this sector only if they are doing a degree related to tourist studies.

“We proposed that these students should be allowed to work 20 hours a week to help the sector, and expect to discuss the issue with the ministry. This issue needs to be solved, as during the summer when tourism is at its peak it can cause serious problems for many businesses” he continued.

When asked whether Cypriots were being employed in these sectors, he said the number of Cypriots involved had reached its maximum and there are plenty of vacancies that needed to be filled.

He also said that Cypriots and Europeans were not interested in these type of jobs, which include cleaning and washing up. Leventis also raised a hot issue that is occurring right now with delivery drivers.

He said that for February many students from third-party countries working as delivery drivers, will be out of a job temporarily.

“Their contract can be renewed once confirmation of their studies are submitted and approved by the competent bodies. For the time in between, it will create costs for the food and entertainment services that rely on delivery drivers as they will not be allowed to legally work” Leventis said.

He said that due to the low wages, the number of Cypriots working in deliveries was very small compared to the high number of students from third countries.

Leventis said the government needed to look at both serious issues immediately and responsibly.

Later in the month they are to meet with the minister of labour to discuss the issue.


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