The Cyprus labour market was significantly affected by the global economic crisis. The unemployment rate reached 7% in 2010 (from 5.3% in 2009), and kept rising reaching 7.6% in 2011, 11.8% in 2012 and 15.9% in 2013. The “Prevention – Action Plan” promoted jointly by the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance and the Human Resources Development Authority in response to the crisis, focused primarily on labour market measures, including the promotion of employment and training programmes for the unemployed, recent graduates and those with weak job security.
The Department of Labour is responsible for the promotion and implementation of Government policy in the field of employment. To this end, the Department is responsible for the following:
- Formulation and evaluation of national employment policy, in cooperation with other competent Services and bodies.
- Monitoring of the labour market situation through the analysis of statistical and other information.
- Effective functioning of the labour market through the provision of placement services, the filling of vacancies, the provision of vocational guidance and the dissemination of information on employment and training programmes and employment opportunities.
- Processing of applications for the temporary employment of third-country nationals, in order to meet temporary labour shortages, in cases where there are no possibilities of meeting the specific needs of the employer through local resources including labour from other EU member states.
- Securing of conditions of equal treatment and equal opportunities in employment without discrimination on grounds of gender, of racial or ethnic origin, of religion or belief, of age and sexual orientation and the protection of special categories of people in employment.
- Legislation on maternity protection and protection of young persons at work.
- Legislation on private employment agencies.
- The promotion of geographic mobility within the European Union.
In addition, during 2013, the Department dealt, among other things, with the following:
- The drafting of a National Youth Employment Action Plan that includes actions for the implementation of the EU directive “Youth Guarantee”.
- Substantial involvement in the formulation and supervision of the implementation of the national employment policy arising from the obligations of the Memorandum of Understanding.
- The continuation of the project aiming at the further enhancement and modernisation of the Public Employment Service, a project co-financed by the European Social Fund.
- The operation of structures as a result of being a member of EU, such as the National Contact Point for the Recognition of Professional Qualifications, the Euroguidance Centre, the European Public Employment Services Network (EURES) and the European Lifelong Guidance Policy Network (ELGPN).
- The implementation of employment incentive schemes aiming at the employment of unemployed individuals of various categories.
For further information:
Department of Labour website: www.mlsi.gov.cy/mlsi/dl/dl.nsf