The Human Resource Development Authority of Cyprus (HRDA) is a semi-government organization, which was set up in 1979. The HRDA is governed by a 13-member Board of Directors. Five of the members are Government representatives and the other eight are Employer and Trade Unions representatives. It is funded by the levy paid by all employers/companies in the private sector and semi-government organizations to the Human Resource Development Fund.
Mission and Strategic Objectives
The HRDA´s mission is to create the necessary prerequisites for the planned and systematic training and development of Cyprus’s human resources, at all levels and in all sectors, for meeting the economy’s needs, within the overall socio-economic policies.
The main strategic objectives of the HRDA are the following:
- Upgrading the country´s human resources, through the systematic lifelong training of the employed, new entrants in the labour market, the unemployed, the inactive and the low skilled and older age persons, in order to enhance their employability potential throughout the European Union.
- Improving the productivity and strengthening the competitiveness of Cypriot enterprises through better utilisation of their human resources and the improvement of their adaptability potential.
The above strategic objectives are being pursued through specific actions, which are classified under the following targets:
- Effective Training and Development of Human Resources: Promotion of the lifelong learning of employees and the integration of the unemployed and economically inactive in employment.
- Support of Enterprises for Upgrading their Human Resources: Promotion of support actions in enterprises aiming at increasing human capital investments and improving their productivity.
- Enhancement of the Human Resource Development Infrastructure and Systems: Enhancement of the quality of training and development of human resources through strengthening the training infrastructure, promoting innovation and operating a national system of vocational qualifications and a system for the assessment and certification of training providers.
- Promotion of Research and Development: Promotion of research and development actions in areas of vital importance for the training and development of human resources, with a focus on employment forecasts and on the needs for human resources with the necessary knowledge and skills in issues related to the utilisation of oil and natural gas and the green economy.
- Effective Governance: Promotion of diverse actions for enhancing the governance systems and processes of the HRDA and its main partners.
One of HRDA’s top priorities is the promotion of targeted actions which contribute to the alleviation of the unprecedented impact on employment created by the economic crisis. Towards this direction, the HRDA will continue even more intensively, the operation of a Special Prevention Scheme – Action Plan, which places emphasis on actions of job placement of the unemployed to acquire work experience in enterprises/organisations.
Another key priority of the HRDA is to upgrade the knowledge and skills of human resources in sectors with a potential for development, such as the emerging sector of Oil and Natural Gas and the Green economy, but also in issues of entrepreneurship and information and communication technologies.
An important priority is also the continuous strengthening and upgrading of the quality of infrastructures and human resource development systems. The intensive promotion of the System of Vocational Qualifications is expected to contribute to the ongoing effort to upgrade the country’s human resources and will have an impact on the lifelong learning and mobility of human resources in the context of European Union policies.
Forms of Training
In order to meet the wide range of training needs of the country’s human resources, the HRDA promotes the following forms of training, each of which addresses specific targeted groups:
- Initial Training
- Continuing Training of Employees
– Of Managerial and Supervisory Staff
– Of Trainers and Consultants
– In Areas of New Technology and Innovation
– Secondary, University and other Tertiary Education Graduates
– The Unemployed
– Economically Inactive Women
Services Offered to Enterprises
The HRDA´s training schemes and other activities aim to provide Cypriot enterprises with the opportunity to become units that maximize the utilization of their human capital. This objective can be realised with the adoption and implementation of new business models, which are based on knowledge as the most effective factor for development and progress. In this respect, the HRDA provides enterprises with the following, among other things:
- free advice and technical assistance for the design, planning and implementation of training plans for their personnel;
- the opportunity to young management staff, secondary and tertiary education graduates, to receive the required practical experience;
- technical assistance for qualitative implementation of in-company training;
- consultancy services with the aim of improving their mode of operation and efficiency and their competitiveness in general through the better development and utilization of their human resources;
- financial assistance for strengthening their company’s training infrastructure within the framework of the more general objective of encouraging training in enterprises;
- subsidization of training programs implemented:
– within the enterprise,
– by training institutions, in the public and private sectors,
Activities Co-Funded By the European Social Fund and the HRDA
The accession of Cyprus to the European Union gave the HRDA the opportunity to benefit from the Structural Funds. The HRDA, as the final beneficiary, implements five schemes co-financed by the European Social Fund and the HRDA. These five Schemes, included in the programme “Employability, Human Capital and Social Cohesion 2007 – 2013”, are:
- Improvement of the employability of the unemployed
- Improvement of the employability of economically inactive women
- Enhancement of the competitiveness of microenterprises employing 1-4 persons
- Improvement of the productivity of small and medium enterprises employing 5-249 persons.
- Placement of unemployed young tertiary education graduates in enterprises for acquisition of work experience.
System of Vocational Qualifications
The System of Vocational Qualifications is based on Standards of Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) which are developed by the HRDA with the assistance of sectoral technical committees. The System includes the assessment and certification of an individual’s ability to carry out a specific job on the basis of a SVQ, under real and/or accepted simulated working conditions. At the same time, the System defines the framework for the training and development requirements in order for an individual to reach the competence level that the SVQ defines. The system is co-funded by the ESF and the HRDA.
It includes the development of standards for 72 occupations at various levels.
The System’s establishment and implementation will have a positive effect on the quality of the services provided, on the enhancement of lifelong learning and on the mobility of Cyprus’ human resources in Europe.
Research Studies and Surveys
For the formulation of its strategy and its activities, the HRDA takes into account the results of the research studies it conducts every year. Research studies and surveys cover a very broad scope of matters pertaining to human resource training and development, and are classified in five categories:
- Trends and Forecasts of Employment and Training Needs in Cyprus
- Human Capital and the Labour Market
- Vocational Education and Training Systems and Infrastructure
- Panorama of Participation in Education and Training
- Assessment and Evaluation of the Contribution of HRDA’s Schemes.
The HRDA’s research studies and surveys constitute a useful tool for other bodies and agencies, enterprises and individuals interested and/or involved in human resource training and development.
Human Resource Development Authority of Cyprus
P.O.Box 25431, 1392 Nicosia, Cyprus
Telephone: 22515000, Fax: 22496949