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Y. Panayiotou: Intensive effort underway to address lack of human resources

An intensive effort is underway at the Labour and Social Insurance Ministry to alleviate the problems foreign investors are facing from a lack of human resources, Minister Yiannis Panayiotou has said.

He was addressing a meeting between the government, Invest Cyprus and investors – titled “Foreign Investors Dialogue with Government: From feedback to action” – at the Presidential Palace, where some of the government’s key ministers presented the actions they have taken to address the feedback they received from investors in their previous meeting last June.

On his ministry’s part, Panayiotou said an important measure that was taken since was to accelerate the procedure of reviewing applications for the employment of third-country nationals. To this end, he said, the ministry has enhanced the Department of Labour with additional frontline personnel, allowed application submission at both District and Central Labour Offices, and via email, and developed an electronic application submission platform.

As for the ministry’s effort to streamline procedures, Panayiotou said it has been addressing immediate labour market vacancies by utilising the Foreign Labour Force Employment Strategy, while it has also improved the evaluation of employment applications from third-country nationals, while quickly filling positions left vacant. It has also introduced provisions to support emerging businesses.

Panayiotou added, “In collaboration with the Ministry of Interior, legislative amendments are being pursued to increase the maximum weekly working hours for student residents from 20 to 25 hours; allow graduates a 12-month stay to seek employment; and consider extending labour market access and adjusting the residency requirement for employment rights, with a proposed decree forthcoming for consultation.”

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