The University of Cyprus will draw up training programmes for traditional professions that will be offered to the unemployed by the Human Resources Development Authority as part of a drive to keep craftmanship alive.
The new programmes, expected to become available in 2022, are part of a three-year memorandum of cooperation signed on Thursday by the university’s rector Tasos Christofides and Energy Minister Natasa Pilides, whose portfolio also covers commerce and industry.
Initially they will cover ceramic, weaving and embroidery.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, Pilides said that the primary aim of the ministry and the Cyprus Handicrafts Centre which falls under its remit is the protection of the island’s cultural heritage. The biggest threat is that experienced craftsmen are at an advanced age and they are not being replaced at a rate that will safeguard the preservation of their traditional professions, she said.
The ministry is prepared to invest time and to finance programmes that safeguard the intangible heritage of Cyprus and also offer the public the chance to learn new skills and secure alternative occupations.