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12-08-2019 13:52

Representative of the Communication Unit of the EEA and Norway Grants in Cyprus for the YOUTHShare project and other co-financed projects

Mr César Gimeno Rodríguez, representative of the Communication Unit of the EEA and Norway Grants, visited Cyprus for the co-financed projects implemented in Cyprus, including the YOUTHShare project, during the period 24 - 26 July 2019.

The representative of the Communication Unit was welcomed by the Deputy Commissioner of the Authority for Cooperative Societies, Mr Kypros Protopapas, at a meeting held at the Authority’s headquarters in Nicosia along with the three Project Managers regarding Cyprus, Mr Marinos Aniftos, Officer A’ at the Authority for Cooperative Societies, Dr Ioannis Pissourios, Lecturer at the Neapolis University Paphos and Ms Theognosia Petrou, researcher at the organisation of CARDET. The role and the activities of the organizations, in the framework of the Project implementation were presented. Officers from the Directorate-General for European Programs, Coordination and Development attended the meeting as well. Upon completion of the presentations, a visit was paid to the Co-operative Society of Agros Rose Producer Ltd, which is one of the Co-operative Societies participating in the internships program for persons not in employment, education or training (NEETs). During the visit, a brief retrospective of the Society was presented and the whole process of rose collection, distilling and marketing the rosewater was explained. The social role of the Co-operative Society was highlighted and views were exchanged on the training program of the NEETs.

The Authority for Cooperative Societies, Neapolis University Paphos and CARDET in Cyprus, along with eight other organizations from five European countries, led by the University of the Aegean, participate in the YOUTHShare project, which is funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment. The Project has a total budget of € 2,125,185.33 and duration of 42 months (1.11.2018 - 30.4.2022).

The main objective of the Project is to reduce unemployment among young people in the Mediterranean coastal and island regions who are out of employment, education or training (NEETs). They will be assisted, in a trans-local way of intervention, to develop skills in resilient economic sectors, such as agrifood, as well as in other relevant fields of the Circular Economy. An integrated multilateral methodology and practice will enhance the potential for social and co-operative entrepreneurship with the view to reducing economic inequalities and contributing effectively to social inclusion.

In the context of the Project implementation, the Authority for Cooperative Societies (ACS), being the competent Government Service in Cyprus for monitoring the implementation of Co-operative Legislation by all registered  co-operative societies, will, amongst else, set up a Placement Centre for NEETs, aged between 25 and 29 years old. It will facilitate the former NEETs’ participation in the internship and training program in cooperative societies that are active in the agricultural sector (gathering, processing and marketing of agricultural products and their derivatives), aiming at their subsequent integration into the labour market. Furthermore, ACS has undertaken the organization of events in Cyprus aiming at informing and outreaching stakeholders who can contribute in identifying NEETs wishing to participate in this training and skills acquisition program. Moreover, ACS will undertake the production of a documentary film recording the implementation of the above mentioned activities at all their stages. At the same time, ACS is actively involved in the overall management and communication of the Project for its successful and effective implementation through those activities, its network of cooperative societies, the collaboration maintained with other competent Government Services and stakeholders, as well as through its official website.

Neapolis University Paphos has undertaken activities in YOUTHShare project reflecting on the one hand its significant expertise and on the other its target to be acknowledged as an important research and development centre in Cyprus. In the framework of the Project, researchers from the Department of Architecture and Geo-environment Sciences, as well as the Department of Finance and Management, focus on the recognition of qualitative, quantitative and spatial characteristics of social and sharing economy in the European South. The ultimate goal of the above study is the understanding of those concepts, in their transnational dimension, and in relation to NEETs’ phenomenon. In addition to that, the University of Neapolis Paphos has undertaken the editing of educational manuals for the development of skills in Information Technology (IT) as well as skills in sharing economy. The research experience of the University of Neapolis Paphos, as well as its strong links with the local community and the international academic community, ensure the strong impact of the Project.

Finally, CARDET will undertake the design and development of two e-platforms that will help empowering the target groups and offer flexibility in the training process, through non-formal education, making it more interactive and attractive. Moreover, CARDET will hire the Key Manager of the Placement Centre set up by ACS in order to provide targeted networking, guidance and young people empowerment in the field of social and sharing economy. At the same time, CARDET is actively involved in the overall management and communication of the Project and supports its implementation, amongst else, through the effective dissemination and promotion of the Project in its official website, social media account and its networks.

More information on the YOUTHShare project can be found on the website www.youthshare-project.org

(EK)