Background

The global economic crisis resulted in Cyprus in the recession of the economic activity as well as in the increase of unemployment whose rate had been particularly high among youth. The unemployment rate during the period 2008-2015 increased from 3.8% to 15.0%. In 2013, the percentage of unemployed young people soared to 38.9%, in 2015 reached 31%, and decreased significantly, to 22.2%, in 2016. However, the youth unemployment rate in Cyprus is still high and, therefore, the Republic of Cyprus has introduced corrective measures on different pillars, such as the funding of active employment policies, which have to be well-targeted and effective. The survey conducted by the Statistical Service of the Republic of Cyprus with title “Young people in the labour market” is very useful for drawing conclusions on the situation of youth employment in Cyprus in 2016. More specifically, 83.7% of young respondents (22,583 persons) and 99.1% out of the total number of inactive people aged between 15 and 34 years (81,198 persons) claimed that they had not received any support from the District Labour Offices in order to find a job. The Cyprus Youth Board, in the context of its mission to support and empower the youth of Cyprus, has taken the initiative to launch the Youth Entrepreneurship Programme in the framework of the National Action Plan for Youth Employment. The mission of this new programme is to support unemployed young people of the age of 15 to 29 years in taking initiatives regarding entrepreneurship as well as to promote a “doing business” culture. This new supportive mechanism will provide young people with limited knowledge and networking with the opportunity to discover their entrepreneurial capacity, set up and run sustainable businesses, and introduce decent working conditions for them and their peers.