Paphos hospitality business owners were applauded on Tuesday by the association of recreation centres (Osika) for their initiative to offer jobs to Ukrainian refugees.

The Paphos hospitality venue association (Sikap) met earlier in the day with representatives from the Ukrainian embassy to discuss the prospect of setting up a special job network for refugees from Ukraine.

Sikap has made several efforts to tackle understaffing issues in the past, managing to open up positions for asylum seekers and foreign students in need of jobs, head Angelos Onisiforou said.

He added that the association was the first to get in touch with the Ukrainian embassy and assure the ambassador of their readiness to employ refugees who find their way in Cyprus.

“At the same time, we applied pressure towards the relevant ministries to ensure simple, and not time-consuming, hiring processes,” he added, saying this will be achieved in collaboration with Osika.

Onisiforou said that Sikap has links to the Ukraine-Cyprus friendship network, and that the two have agreed to build and operate a special platform that Ukrainian refugees arriving in Cyprus will be able to use to register their interest, skills and experience, and desired roles.

The meeting was attended by several venue owners, who filled in applications stating the needs of their venues in terms of staff that will be cross-referenced with lists of refugees and their respective specialties.

“We will have access to the information on this platform, and depending on the individual needs of hospitality venues, we will send them the people they need”.

In addition to this, he said that Sikap will contribute in supporting Ukrainian refugees in other ways, such as helping solve issues around accommodation, and collecting food and other supplies.

Onisiforou finally said that Sikap has also undertaken redirecting Ukrainian staff to other specialties.

Any Paphos hospitality venues interested in employing refugees should contact Sikap executive secretary Petros Kechrotis at 99 422527.