Students who are third-country nationals can obtain basic jobs in nine sectors of the economy under expanded criteria aimed at easing a labour shortage published by the labour minister on Friday.
The new regime was agreed between social partners before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent shockwaves through the economy and prompted trade unions to urge the government to freeze plans to issue work permits to third country nationals which the employers’ federation OEV has been lobbying for.
The new decree was published in the official gazette on March 11 and applies to students who were in Cyprus on January 31, 2022 and are third-country nationals. They will be eligible to work in jobs in nine sectors, provided they secure a work contract with a specific employer listing their basic work conditions which must be stamped by the department of labour.
Students must also present documentation proving they are full time students with their programme of classes from a recognised institution as well as their residence permit. The labour department must also receive the students’ monthly work programme.
The sectors of the economy and jobs permitted are, commerce – repairs (porters for wholesale business, workers at petrol stations and car washes); healthcare (carers in homes for the aged); house cleaning; processing (workers at bakeries, animal feed plants, recycling, night shift work at processing plants); agriculture-livestock farming-fishing; other activities (cleaners for buildings, sewerage workers, distributors for advertising leaflets); catering (distributor of food, kitchen help, cleaner, waiter); hotels (kitchen help, cleaner, chambermaid, waiter, reception employee, barman); and finally restaurants-entertainment venues (kitchen help, cleaner, waiter, bar staff).
For the period of June 1 to October 15, hotels and entertainment venues are allowed to employ students enrolled for hotel and catering degrees as part of their practical training. Moreover, students of recognised courses whose degree requires practical training can work for this purpose, provided there is a written agreement between the employer and the educational institute which has been submitted to the labour department.