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Nearly half of Cyprus graduates over-skilled for their jobs

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Approximately 46 per cent of Cypriot graduates consider themselves overeducated for their jobs, according to a study carried out by the department of higher education of the education ministry.

In Cyprus, skills mismatch has been identified as a major cause of concern in a multitude of policy reports,” the study said.

The study is part of a wider programme called ‘Addressing skills mismatch between education and the labour market’, which has received funding from the EU Recovery and Resilience Plan.

According to the study, skills mismatch and overeducation appears to be a major challenge across Europe.

Quoting the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop), it said that Europe’s and Cyprus’ main challenge is not just to improve skills levels, but to align individuals with the appropriate skills to suitable jobs.

“There are various types of skills mismatches, such as overeducation, undereducation, horizontal mismatch, over-skilling and skills obsolescence, which are a major cause of rising unemployment and increasing difficulties for individuals transitioning from education to the labour market to find jobs matching their potential,” the report explained.

The report added that, although skills mismatches on the island have been identified as a great challenge at a national level that needs to be urgently addressed, national data on the type and their extent are scarce.

The overall goal of the study is to collect national data on graduates’ pathways after leaving higher education as well as data on labour market’s current and future needs in terms of knowledge and skills.

The study added that undereducation does not appear to be a problem as only a small percentage of graduates reported having a lower level of education than it is required by their job (9 per cent in 2016/17 and 8 per cent in 2020/21).

The field of natural sciences had the highest percentage of graduates reporting being undereducated (22 per cent) compared to other fields.

Two other types of skills mismatches that were measured in the context of the study were over-skilling and under-skilling. Graduates were requested to assess their current proficiency in various types of skills, along with the expected level of skill required by their current job, using a seven-point rating scale, ranging from 1 (very low) to 7 (very high).

“In both cohorts, graduates’ own level was significantly higher than the corresponding level required by their current job for almost all skills assessed, thus indicating over-skilling,” the study concluded.

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