To evaluate the impact of its activities, the Human Resource Development Authority of Cyprus (HRDA) has in place a system designed by independent external consultants.
Evaluation studies in 2015 covered the participants in job placement two schemes for unemployed young persons to aid acquisition of work experience in enterprises/ organisations. The schemes were prepared by the HRDA in cooperation with the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance, following announcements by the President of the Republic of Cyprus for measures to restart the economy and tackle unemployment. The schemes show the response and role of vocational education and training (VET) in dealing with the adverse effects of the economic crisis on the labour market.
The first scheme catered for tertiary education graduates: placement programmes were successfully completed by 1 498 graduates under 35 during 2013-14, with total expenditure of EUR 5.7 million. The second scheme catered for graduates of lower secondary, upper secondary and post-secondary education with duration of up to two years. The programmes were successfully completed by 875 persons during 2013-14, with total expenditure of EUR 3.8 million. Both schemes aimed at providing unemployed young people with the opportunity to acquire work experience to improve their employability, while at the same time providing enterprises/organisations with access to suitable human resources. During the programmes, every unemployed person involved was provided with a weekly training allowance of EUR 125.
The two studies were carried out by telephone interviews in a statistically representative sample of the participants in the schemes. These took into consideration the category of the placement enterprise/organisation, whether in the public or private sectors.
According to the results of the first study, the scheme for tertiary education graduates significantly improves the employability of young persons, given that half of the participants (49.8%), at the time of the field research, approximately six months after the completion of their participation, were found to be employed. The employment rate was higher (56.1%) for the people who were placed in enterprises/organisations in the private sector. The study also showed that approximately one in four (23.9%) of the participants in the scheme who were employed, continued to work in the enterprise/organisation of their placement.
Results of the second study for graduates of lower secondary, upper secondary and post-secondary education showed that approximately one in three (32.7%) of the participants in the scheme were employed at the time of the field research, approximately four months after completion of their participation. Again, the employment rate was higher (37.2%) for the people who were placed in enterprises/organisations in the private sector. More than two in five (42.9%) of the participants in the scheme who were employed, continued to work in the enterprise/organisation of their placement.
The outcomes of this evaluation, which were presented to the Council of Ministers, indicate the contribution of these schemes to improving employment opportunities for young people in Cyprus. They also provide a very significant input to the HRDA´s continuous effort to improve its activities and were used in relaunching these two schemes in 2015.