The Human Resource Development Authority of Cyprus (HRDA) has included the blue economy in its priorities, aligning its own planning with the priorities of government policy.

Having recognised the promising prospects of the blue economy for economic growth and job creation, it conducted research to provide forecasts of employment demand in blue economic sectors and occupations: all economic activities related to the oceans, seas and coastal areas.

The study examines and analyses the blue economy and blue occupations, maps out the specifics for Cyprus, and identifies blue skill needs in the Cyprus economy for 2016-26. The blue economy of Cyprus includes 39 economic sectors, grouped into six main categories. The identification of skill needs focuses on maritime, shipping, fishing and maritime and coastal tourism occupations.

Total employment in these sectors for 2016-26 is forecast to grow: in 2026, 40 518 persons, or around one out of 10 employed persons, will work in the blue economy. Total new and replacement employment demand is estimated at 1 900 persons or 5.4% per year, corresponding to 14.3% of total employment demand for the Cyprus economy.

According to the study, eight out of 10 of those employed in the blue economy will work in maritime and coastal tourism, reflecting its importance to Cyprus. This sector will exhibit the highest total new and replacement demand, at 1 615 persons or 5.6% per year during 2016-26.

The second biggest blue economic sector is maritime transport, in which one out of six employed persons of the blue economy will be working. Total new and replacement demand will reach 253 persons or 4.3% per year during the period 2016-26. These trends reflect the strategic objective of Cyprus for further promotion of merchant shipping and aim to exploit hydrocarbon deposits in the exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Cyprus.

The study recommends aiming for the timely and planned action on Cyprus’s blue economy needs in employment and human resource development, education and training.

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