3.11 Current debates and reforms
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Forthcoming policy developments
A number of new policies are expected to be put into practice for reinforcing the support for young people and especially NEETs according to the National Reform Programme 2022. Some of the planned activities are the following ones: 1) The development and operation of four mobile PES units for outreaching the NEETs and providing them with guidance, counselling and employment services, 2) The development of a digital performance management system (PMS) and a digital early warning system for NEETs (the systems are expected to be in operation by Q4 2024), 3) Coaching and career guidance for the labour market orientation and integration of NEETs (Q2 2026) and 4) The development of the Skilling, Reskilling and Upskilling project.
Moreover, the Department of Higher Education of Ministry of Education, Sport and Youth implements the project “Development of a National Graduate Tracking Mechanism, and Design and Implementation of an Employers’ Skills Survey” with the aim to address the skills mismatch and monitor the transition from education to employment. The project aims to develop and implement a National Graduate Tracking Mechanism for the first time in Cyprus and at the same time to develop and implement a National Employers' Skill Survey in relation to the skills and qualifications needs of the labour market. The first results from the National Graduate Tracking Survey will be available in September 2023 according to the announcement of the Ministry of Education, Sport and Youth.
In addition, the government initiative for the promotion of social entrepreneurship was approved, through the adoption of the legislative framework for the establishment of Social Enterprises. The new public consultation regarding the financial incentives for the establishment of new social enterprises ran between January-February 2023, while they are expected to put into practice during the first quarter of 2024.
Moreover, as mentioned in the Cyprus Lifelong Learning Strategy 2021-2027, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth is in the process of developing a mechanism for the validation and recognition of non-formal and informal learning which is expected to be completed by 2023.
One of the ongoing debates in the field of youth employment is the issue of unpaid internships and specifically the need to formulate a legislative framework that defines internships, remuneration, quality assurance and rights. The topic has been discussed in the Parliamentary Committee of Labour with the participation of representatives of the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance, Ministry of Education, Youth Board of Cyprus, National Youth Council and other youth organisations.