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24 May, 2024
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Cyprus grapples with alarming gaps in youth employment and basic skills

Chairman's stark warning highlights social challenges revealed in EC report


The Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Labour, Welfare and Social Security, Andreas Kafkalias, expressed concern over the gaps in basic skills and the high percentage of young people not in employment, education, or training (14.7%) in Cyprus. He highlighted these particular social challenges in response to the European Commission's report on the country during the Inter-Parliamentary Conference on Stability, Economic Coordination, and Governance in the European Union (EU) in Madrid.

Despite a relatively high employment rate, Kafkalias emphasized that the integration of young people and vulnerable groups into the labor market remains limited. The report also pointed out the slow growth of household income, energy poverty, and a high risk of poverty or social exclusion among vulnerable groups.

Kafkalias called for growth-friendly policies that stimulate investment and ensure social responsibility. He stressed that social justice, equity, and solidarity should be guiding principles, with citizens' well-being at the heart of development policies.

He noted that successive crises had weakened the social fabric, put pressure on social, health, and pension systems, and had asymmetric impacts on EU Member States, widening socio-economic inequalities and leading to labor market deregulation.

Kafkalias emphasized the need to strengthen the social dimension of the European Semester and establish a Social Imbalances Procedure to identify and monitor growing inequalities. He also stressed the importance of ensuring that green and digital transitions are fair and inclusive, with a focus on integrating low-skilled labor into the workforce through training and reskilling programs to meet emerging labor market needs.

[Information from CNA]

Cyprus  |  youth  |  education  |  society

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