Summary

Skills anticipation activities in Cyprus are highly centralised, with activity concentrated in the Human Resource Development Authority (Αρχή Ανάπτυξης Ανθρώπινου Δυναμικού, HRDA), a semi-governmental organisation which holds overall responsibility for skills anticipation.

The main tools of skills anticipation in Cyprus are studies run by the HRDA which are used to predict future labour market needs. Skills anticipation in Cyprus is largely comprised of the HRDA’s forecasts of employment demand in economic sectors and occupations which cover the whole labour market. The forecasts do not cover skills supply, which consists of unemployment, new entrants to the labour market, outflows from the educational system, and net migration.
There are four main actors in skills anticipation in the country. The first three are government departments and the fourth is a semi-governmental organisation:

  • The Ministry of Finance (Υπουργείο Οικονομικών) which collects and analyses information on the state of the national economy and proposes actions and legislative measures;
  • The Ministry of Education and Culture (Υπουργείο Παιδείας και Πολιτισμού, MoEC) which works on the development and implementation of educational policy;
  • The Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance (Υπουργείο Εργασίας, Πρόνοιας και Κοινωνικών Ασφαλίσεων, MLWSI) which has responsibility for introducing employment and social policy measures; and
  • The HRDA, which focuses on the provision of vocational training and is primarily responsible for forecasting labour market needs.

There is also strong stakeholder involvement via the Board of Directors of the HRDA, which includes representatives from ministries, and employer and trade union associations.

The target audience for skills intelligence consists of policymakers, public and private organisations, training providers, jobseekers, employees, and employers who are able to access information online. Skills intelligence is distributed by the HRDA, MoEC, MLWSI, and the Cyprus Youth Board (Οργανισμός Νεολαίας Κύπρου).

 

Please cite this document as: Skills Panorama (2017), Skills anticipation in Cyprus. Analytical highlights series. Available at http://skillspanorama.cedefop.europa.eu/en/analytical_highlights/skills-anticipation-cyprus

Overview of the Cypriot approach

Skills anticipation in Cyprus

Description

Cyprus has long experience of providing forecasts of skills needs. Skills anticipation activities in Cyprus include:

  • Analysis of long term employment trends and forecasting;
  • Annual research studies on the identification of employment and training needs with the involvement of the social partners; and
  • Studies on skills needs in specific sectors (e.g. in the blue economy, green economy, natural gas, nursing).

The main formal mechanism in place for the assessment of skill needs is operated by the HRDA. The Ministry of Finance provides projections for the growth of the economy, which include forecasts of value added, productivity and employment. The aforementioned projections are utilised by the HRDA to produce detailed employment forecasts, disaggregated by economic sector and occupation and include estimates of both expansion and replacement demand.

Furthermore, the MoEC has responsibility (enshrined in legislation) for the identification of educational and special skill needs.

Aims

The aim of skills anticipation in Cyprus is the identification of skills gaps and the planning and implementation of education and training activities. Skills anticipation outputs cover all sectors of the Cypriot economy and labour market, and all relevant occupations.

There is no specific regulation governing skills anticipation in the country. It is of interest to highlight that the law governing the operations of HRDA (‘Part IΙ: Establishment and Powers of the Authority of the HRDA’) sets as one the Authority’s main responsibilities the collection, analysis, and distribution of information about the development of human capital (including statistical data and forecasts).

Governance

The HRDA, which reports to the government through the Minister of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance, is governed by a 13-member Board of Directors comprising five government, four employer, and four trade union representatives.(1) The two main government actors in skills anticipation, MoEC and MLWSI, are represented on the Board.

The role of stakeholders

Stakeholders are mostly involved in the use of skills intelligence. The main stakeholders in the process of skills anticipation are:

  • Public and private organisations involved in human resource planning, such as:
    • The Public Employment Service (Δημόσια Υπηρεσία Απασχόλησης, PES);
    • MoEC;
    • Social partners (such as employers’ organisations and trade unions).
  • Representatives of education and training institutions (including universities, colleges, VET providers);
  • The Directorate General for European Programmes, Coordination and Development (Γενική Διεύθυνση Ευρωπαϊκών Προγραμμάτων, Συντονισμού και Ανάπτυξης), which has responsibility for European Funds and Programmes (such as the European Investment and Structural Funds, the EU Competitive Programmes, and the grants provided by countries in the European Economic Area and Switzerland); and development and horizontal issues, such as research, technological development and innovation, lifelong learning, and the "Europe 2020" Strategy.

As mentioned above, HRDA is governed by a 13-member Board of Directors comprising five government, four employer, and four trade union representatives. All stakeholders arguably therefore have a clear overview of the operation, functions and results of skills anticipation studies that take place in the country athe strategic plan and goals of the HRDA, but their role in the design of the skills anticipation measures is consultative only.

Target groups

In Cyprus, skills intelligence stemming from the HRDA’s studies is published and accessible online (2) and presented to a targeted audience via events and lectures with the aim of communicating and disseminating information.

Funding and resources

There are no specific funds in the HRDA’s budget for skills anticipation. Skill anticipation studies are funded from the HRDA’s overall annual budget (3).

Methods and and tools

Skills assessment

There are no skills assessment activities currently conducted in Cyprus.

Skills forecasts

  • The HRDA produces 10-year employment forecasts every two to three years. The latest set of employment forecasts for Cyprus, completed in 2014, covered the period 2014-24 and provides forecasts of employment levels, expansion demand and replacement demand for 52 sectors of economic activity and around 300 occupations, thereby covering the entire labour market. It must be noted that the forecasts only cover employment demand and not the respective supply.
  • The skills forecasting methodology has been developed by the HRDA based on its extensive experience in forecasting, as well as on similar methodologies which have been developed in Europe and the USA. In order to produce the employment forecasts, the country’s strategic objectives, as expressed in various governmental programming documents, are taken into account. As a consequence specific assumptions and working scenarios about the future are developed based on these documents.
  • The HRDA also produces annual research studies for the identification of employment and training needs, with the involvement of the social partners. These studies provide annual estimates for the number of persons required in specific occupations and the need for specific skills. The aforementioned identification is based on labour market research, using data collected via questionnaires sent to social partners and other stakeholders including employers, trade unions and the public employment services through the District Labour Offices. On the basis of these estimates, suggestions are put forward for the implementation of training programmes.

Skills foresight

There is no skills foresight activity currently undertaken in Cyprus.

Other skill anticipation exercises

In addition to the forecasts, the HRDA also conducts qualitative and quantitative studies on specific sectors (e.g. the blue economy, the green economy, natural gas, and nursing). These studies examine and analyse a specific sector in order to identify their skill needs, taking into consideration forecasts of employment demand.

 

Dissemination and use

Use of skills anticipation in policy

The HRDA outputs are disseminated in a number of ways:

  • The HRDA organises press conferences for the presentation of its forecasts and other studies;
  • Special lectures are organised for secondary school guidance counsellors in collaboration with the MoEC, and for employment counsellors in collaboration with the PES;
  • Findings of the forecast studies are disseminated to the public through the media such as articles in newspapers and participation in relevant radio and television programmes;
  • Detailed forecasts of employment demand for around 300 occupations are provided on the HRDA website. Users may search for information on occupations of interest. 

Studies are also sent to government officials, the social partners (employers’ organisations and trade unions), education and training providers, organisations involved in human resource planning, careers counsellors, etc. Policymakers use these forecasts to develop appropriate policy responses for adapting to projected future change.

  • In some cases MoEC (via its department of Secondary Technical and Vocational Education, STVE) has used the HRDA’s studies for the design of new curricula at the secondary level.
  • Skills anticipation outputs are also taken into consideration by the HRDA for choosing which Standards of Vocational Qualifications are to be developed. The System of Vocational Qualifications, which is the responsibility of the HRDA, is based on agreed standards developed by technical Sectoral Committees of Vocational Qualifications. These committees consist of representatives of the social partners (government, employers’ organisations and trade unions) and other professionals.
  • The results of HRDA’s forecasts are also used by the Directorate General for European Programmes, Coordination and Development (Γενική Διεύθυνση Ευρωπαϊκών Προγραμμάτων, Συντονισμού και Ανάπτυξης) in planning Operational Programmes (OP), which are funded by the EU. For the programming period 2014-2020, the Directorate General used the HRDA studies for the planning of OP “Employment, Human Resources and Social Cohesion”.

Target groups’ uses of skills anticipation outputs

Skills anticipation outputs are used by policymakers to develop appropriate policies to support public and private organisations involved in human resource planning in adapting to the country’s skill needs.  

Other key users of the results from the HRDA skills anticipation studies are public and private organisations, future graduates and their families, school counsellors, general education and VET institutions (universities, colleges, and public and private schools of all levels), employers, trade unions, MoEC, and MLWSI.

 

Please cite this document as: Skills Panorama (2017), Skills anticipation in Cyprus. Analytical highlights series. 
Available at http://skillspanorama.cedefop.europa.eu/en/analytical_highlights/skills-anticipation-cyprus

 

 

Bibliography

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EEPO. 2015. Skills governance in the EU Member States. developed by the European Employment Policy Observatory for the European Commission. Brussels: European Commission.  http://ec.europa.eu/social/BlobServlet?docId=15587&langId=en

European Commission. 2014. Skills Governance in Europe – Cyprus. http://ec.europa.eu/social/BlobServlet?docId=15941&langId=en  

HRDA, Employment Forecasts in the Cyprus Economy 2014-2024. 2015. http://www.hrdauth.org.cy/images/media/assetfile/%CE%9C%CE%B5%CE%BB%CE%AD%CF%84%CE%B7%20%CE%A3%CF%85%CE%BD%CF%8C%CE%BB%CE%BF%CF%85%20%CE%9F%CE%B9%CE%BA%CE%BF%CE%BD%CE%BF%CE%BC%CE%AF%CE%B1%CF%82%202014-2024.pdf

Human Resource Department Authority ((Αρχή Ανάπτυξης Ανθρώπινου Δυναμικού) (homepage). N.d.(a). As of 23 February 2017 http://www.hrdauth.org.cy/

———. N.d.(b). Administration. As of 23 February 2017 http://www.hrdauth.org.cy/el/η-αναδ-/διοίκηση-αναδ

———. N.d.(b). Studies. As of 23 February 2017 http://www.hrdauth.org.cy/el/έρευνα-και-προγραμματισμός-/στοιχεία-και-προβλέψεις-απασχόλησης

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Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance (Υπουργείο Εργασίας, Πρόνοιας και Κοινωνικών Ασφαλίσεων) (homepage). 2017. As of 23 February 2017 http://www.mlsi.gov.cy/mlsi/mlsi.nsf/index_gr/index_gr?OpenDocument

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Endnotes

(1) Information regarding the HRDA administration and board can be found at: http://www.hrdauth.org.cy/el/η-αναδ-/διοίκηση-αναδ

(3) The HRDA is financed by the human resource development levy collected from all employers on the private and semi-governmental sector (0.5% of payroll).