Training workers in new skills to improve their job prospects is a key objective of the ESF in Cyprus. And as the economy modernises it is offering groups such as the young, women and older workers the chance to take part and raise their living standards. ESF funding is also improving the education system to raise standards and offer world-class qualifications.
Cyprus is deploying ESF funding to ensure the workforce has the modern skills and qualifications that both workers and companies need to flourish. Offering more vocational training opportunities and building closer links between universities and the business sector are among the activities that are under way. These measures are already reaching thousands of employees in many companies and helping them improve their performance, productivity and prospects. For example, a tourism-sector project is encouraging staff to take up training opportunities during the tourist low season to improve their skills and job prospects.
Giving a boost to lifelong learning opportunities is another priority and Cyprus aims to have 12.5% of its people participating by 2020. And some 2500 companies are receiving training and consultancy support to implement e-business solutions, such as for staff training or to improve exports.
ESF projects are expanding the Cypriot workforce by helping disadvantaged groups get the support and training they need for work. For example, women job-seekers are being helped with more flexible working practices; and cost-sharing arrangements with employers are encouraging thousands of disabled people to get into work. On-the-job training and apprenticeship schemes are now available to poorly qualified young people to offer them a second chance. And with ESF help, local enterprises are offering company placements to newly qualified graduates who can gain valuable working experience while contributing fresh ideas and approaches for success.