In its strategic plan for 2021-26, the Cyprus Handicraft Service highlighted the urgent need for preserving traditional handicraft techniques which form part of Cyprus’ heritage. In recent years, there has been a rapid decrease of the active workforce of craftspeople in Cyprus in all sectors, due to limited interest by young people in taking up these fields professionally. For these crafts to survive, attracting the next generation, and training them in traditional techniques and materials is of utmost importance.
Knowledge of and contact with these crafts has never been part of a coherent framework in the education and training system for young people in Cyprus. One of the Handicraft Service’s main priorities is fostering the environment and conditions in which traditional craftspeople will transfer their knowledge, especially when it comes to techniques that are registered in the National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Cyprus. The development of three training programmes in embroidery, ceramics and weaving, as part of an effort to attract young people and revitalise the sector, aims to create the next generation of craftspeople trained by those who have the know-how.
The training programmes will be subsidised by the HRDA and will cover a total of 700 hours of training. Of these, 350 hours will be theoretical training, which will be carried out at the vocational training centre of the Cyprus Handicraft Service in Nicosia. The remaining 350 hours will cover the in-house part of the training, which will be implemented in various embroidery, ceramics and textile workshops throughout Cyprus, under the supervision of experienced designers and craftspeople.
After successful completion of their training, participants will receive a certificate of vocational training, and will be able to set up a small workshop. Potential markets for their products are the tourist market, the hotel industry and contemporary designers.
Cyprus Handicraft Service website