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 Human Resource Development Authority (HRDA), the mission of which is to create the prerequisites for planned and systematic training and development of the human potential of Cyprus at all levels and in all areas. 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 Ministry of Education and Culture (MoEC) has responsibility (enshrined in legislation) for the identification of educational and special skill needs.
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). The HRDA was founded by the 21 Law of 1974 under the name of Cyprus Industrial Training Authority. 1 of November 1999 entered into force on Human Resource Development Law no. 125 (I) of 1999.
The HRDA, which reports to the government through the Minister of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance (MLWSI), is governed by a 13-member Board of Directors comprising five government, four employer, and four trade union representatives[i]. 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);
- 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 within the strategic plan and goals of the HRDA, but their role in the design of the skills anticipation measures is consultative only.
In Cyprus, skills intelligence stemming from the HRDA’s studies is published and accessible online[ii] 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.[iii]