Minister of Education, Sport and Youth, Prodromos Prodromou, told CNA that higher vocational education and training in Cyprus is being upgraded with new and modern building facilities in Limassol that will be ready this autumn and more specialised programme options.
Prodromou stressed that the goal is to increase the number of courses of specialised professional studies from the existing 14 to 25 or more with a thousand students in the coming years.
Noting that it is being constantly pointed out that there is shortage of staff with professional qualifications, he said that every year we have many young graduates with qualifications and academic degrees, but the real economy cannot often absorb them professionally.
The programs, he said, can offer two things. Firstly, they will provide short-term education, two-year programs of vocational specialisation for high school graduates who do not proceed to university studies. Secondly, he continued, they will also give opportunities for further training to young people who already have some higher education studies, that do not give, however, access to jobs.
Pointing out that the country needs skilled professionals in several fields, he said that the state must give young people the opportunity to obtain directly those professional qualifications that will enable them to find employment.
Furthermore, he said, we must offer to other people the opportunity to obtain additional qualifications and knowledge with a professional specialisation and skills that will allow them to immediately find employment.
"We have to offer young people those opportunities as well," he concluded.