3.2 Administration and governance
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The main governmental authority responsible for youth employment and entrepreneurship is the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance (Υπουργείο Εργασίας, Πρόνοιας και Κοινωνικών Ασφαλίσεων) and particularly, the Department of Labour (Τμήμα Εργασίας). The mission of the Ministry (among others) is the maintenance and continuous improvement of the standard of living and the quality of life of the working population and of the society in general. The Department of Labour is responsible for:
- The employment and the labour market;
- Combating discrimination and promoting the principle of equality in the workplace.
Moreover, the Department is responsible for providing employment services and filling vacancies, protecting special groups in employment, monitoring the operation of the labour market and coordinating the National Employment Policy.
According to the National Action Plan for Youth Employment in Cyprus (2014-2017) and the National Youth Strategy (2017-2022), together with the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance, the following public actors are involved in policy making in this field:
- the Youth Board of Cyprus, as the competent government agency for youth affairs in Cyprus. More information is provided in Chapter 1;
- the Ministry of Energy, Commerce and Industry: It is responsible for the formulation and implementation of Government policy on matters pertaining to energy, trade, industry, competitiveness and consumers, in such a way that it will contribute positively towards the further development of the Cyprus economy and the well-being of the population of the island. The Ministry is also responsible for the management of the “Υouth Entrepreneurship” Programme (Σχέδιο Ενίσχυσης Νέας Επιχειρηματικής Δραστηριότητας) which provides financial support to young people (20 to 40 years old).
- the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth (Υπουργείο Παιδείας, Πολιτισμού, Αθλητισμού και Νεολαίας);
- the Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy (Υφυπουργείο Έρευνας, Καινοτομίας και Ψηφιακής Πολιτικής) is also one of the main actors in the field of entrepreneurship in general. It was established in March 2020, with law (Ν. 14(I)/2020) (Ο περί της Ίδρυσης Υφυπουργείου Έρευνας, Καινοτομίας και Ψηφιακής Πολιτικής και Διορισμού Υφυπουργού Έρευνας, Καινοτομίας και Ψηφιακής Πολιτικής παρά τω Προέδρω και Συναφών Θεμάτων Νόμος του 2020). Ιts vision is Cyprus to become a dynamic and competitive economy, driven by research, scientific excellence, innovation, technological development and entrepreneurship, and a regional hub in these fundamental areas.
- the Human Resource Development Authority (Αρχή Ανάπτυξης Ανθρώπινου Δυναμικού): the mission of the Human Resource Development Authority is to create the prerequisites for planned and systematic training and development of the human resources of Cyprus at all levels and in all sectors in order to meet the needs of the economy within the framework of the social and economic policy of the state;
- the Cyprus Productivity Centre (Κέντρο Παραγωγικότητας Κύπρου): The mission of Cyprus Productivity Centre is to assist private and public organizations to utilise their human and capital resources in the best possible way so as to increase productivity.
As non-public actors, the State and Private Universities – operating in the Government controlled area of the Republic of Cyprus – are also involved in policy-making in this field. Trade unions are also important social partners in the discussions taking place on topics related to employment.
There is no distribution of responsibilities between top-level and regional/local authorities regarding the main governance approach to youth employment and entrepreneurship. All responsibilities are held on the top-governmental level.
National Youth Strategy is a product of cross-sectoral cooperation, based on the active and direct involvement of Ministries, government agencies dealing with young people, youth organizations and, above all, young people themselves. With the existence of the National Strategy, coordinated actions can now be taken at national level, which will have greater impact on the lives of young people. Especially for the chapter of Employment and Entrepreneurship, the two main goals are the development, support and promotion of entrepreneurship of young people, as well as enhancing the employability of young people and their integration into the labor market, while safeguarding their labor rights. More information for the Strategy can be found in section 1.3. More information about Cross-sectoral approach with other ministries is provided in Chapter 1.5 Cross-sectoral approach with other ministries.