The «FIRST STEP» implementation team

in cooperation with the Cyprus Pedagogical Institute

invites you to an

Intercultural Education Workshop

at the occasion beginning of the vocational training courses

refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants

with a view to their rapid integration into the labour market


Tuesday 2 July – Time: 9:30 – 14:00
European University of Cyprus
Amphitheater A (AUA)

Further Information: 22875561-3 | 99024901



09.30 – 10.00 Registration – Coffee

10.00 – 10.10 Welcome – Coordination
Nadia Karayianni, Coordination, IMH

10.10-10.30 Keynote speakers:

  • On behalf of the Ministrer of Labour and Social Insurance, Ms Zeta Emilianidou
  • Costas Christophides, Debuty General Director OEB
  • Elena Fysentzou, European Funds Unit, Ministry of Interior

10.30 – 11.00 «FIRST STEP»: Υλοποιώντας ένα πρωτοποριακό πρόγραμμα ένταξης 

Networking and Registration | Leandros Savvides, Opinion & Action
Evaluation of Third Country Nationals and hosting | Anthi Aristodimou, ΕΕΟ Group – AKMI
Design and implementation of training programs | Anna Xynisteri ΚΕSΕΑ
Reception, Professional development and Scholarship | Eleni, European University Cyprus
Training and access to business |Nadia Karayianni, ΙΜΗ
Questions and Answers by representatives of Third Country Nationals

11.00 – 11.15 COFFEE BREAK

11.15 – 13.45

Services provided to Third Country Nationals by the Labour Office
Christina Stavrou, Public Employment Services of the Ministry of Labor
Intercultural Approach to Vocational Education and Training
Dr Elena Papamichael, Cyprus Pedacogical Institute

13.45 – Reception

Further Information: 22875561-3 | [email protected]

The European University of Cyprus welcomed the first trainee refugees and asylum seekers for vocational training looking for swift integration into the labour market

The pioneering “First Step” program for the professional training of refugees and asylum seekers to join the Cypriot labour market welcomed the first trainees on Thursday, June 20, at the premises of the European University of Cyprus.

The launch of the courses was introduced in an atmosphere of enthusiasm on the part of both teachers and beneficiaries who undertook the first lesson (Phase A’) of general training for developing their soft skills.

The First Step program is the first of its kind in Cyprus and aims to provide training for beneficiaries of international protection and asylum seekers in order to find work and achieve their true integration into the host society. It is co-funded by the European Migration and Integration and Asylum Fund and the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry responsible for immigration and integration of TCNs (third-country nationals).

“First Step” aims at developing soft skills for 300 trainees as ell as specialised vocational training for 100 distinguished candidates. Beneficiaries will be trained in sectors based on their needs and potential availability of jobs in the Cypriot economy for swift access to the labour market.

The ultimate objective is to support refugees and asylum seekers to develop further basic social, working and linguistic skills in order to contribute to the economic development of the country through their active participation in the labour market.

The “First Step” coordination team is currently planning the formation of the remaining class groups and planning of training at regular intervals in all provinces of Cyprus, in order to facilitate participation in the outmost potential.

Parallel to the above, registration continues so that more beneficiaries of international protection and asylum seekers can be included and evaluated; we would like to satisfy as many needs as possible at this phase but also with an eye in the future.

  • For more information and registration, you can find us via

E-mail address [email protected] or call us at 22875561-3 / 99-024901

The Phase A’ will include training on:

  1. Employment Policies and Legislation
  2. Soft Skills Development (e.g. communication, organization, teamwork)
  3. Professional Development Skills (e.g. Job Interview, CV Building, Employment Opportunities Identification)

The Phase A’ Training Programme duration will be 6 days long and 6 hours per day, with 2 coffee and snack breaks per day.

Group 1

20/06/2019 09:00 – 15:45 110
21/06/2019 09:00 – 15:45 208
24/06/2019 09:00 – 15:45 110
26/06/2019 09:00 – 15:45 110
27/06/2019 09:00 – 15:45 110
28/06/2019 09:00 – 15:45 208

Group 2

Date Time Room*
1/7/2019 09:00 – 15:45 110
3/7/2019 09:00 – 15:45 110
4/7/2019 09:00 – 15:45 110
10/7/2019 09:00 – 15:45 110
11/7/2019 09:00 – 15:45 110
17/7/2019 09:00 – 15:45 110

*All training sessions will take place at the European University facilities in Nicosia:

European University Cyprus
6, Diogenous Str, 2404 Engomi, Nicosia
P.O. Box: 22006, 1516 Nicosia-Cyprus
Tel: +357 22 713000

 Participation in all training sessions of Phase A’ is compulsory.

“FIRST STEP” collaborates with the Labour Department to reach beneficiary populations seeking work through government agencies. Yesterday, May 15, 2019, we had the chance to visit the Public Employment Service (see photos below). We informed potential beneficiaries, while at the same time sign up forms for individuals interested in the program. Over the next two weeks, “FIRST STEP” will be traveling throughout Cyprus to inform and sign up beneficiaries who are interested to increase their chances of finding work in Cyprus.

On Saturday 11/05/2019, we went to St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral Spring Fayre, where we discussed our programme with potential beneficiaries and other visitors.
On Sunday 12/05/2019, we travelled to Larnaca, at the St Mary of Graces Catholic Church food bank where apart from registering potential beneficiaries, we also discussed particular problems and issues concerning the refugee and asylum communities living in Larnaca.
Last but not least, FIRST STEP was part of a live link event at Molos, Limassol on Sunday 12/05/2019 giving informative leaflets to visitors and answering questions concerning our programme.

From our briefing visit to St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Nicosia, May 6, 2019. During our visit, we informed potential beneficiaries of the vocational training program, as church leaders on how training can help Third-Country Nationals integrate easier to Cypriot society.

On behalf of the partnership of the programme for the integration of Third Country Nationals into the Cyprus labour market, Opinion and Action group had a working meeting with supporting organisation Caritas Cyprus, in which we asked for an extensive knowledge of statistical data concerning asylum, international protection beneficiaries and recognised refugees. In addition, our discussion was also concerned about ways in which the Asylum Service can help disseminate the message “Take the First Step” to the beneficiary population.

Στο πλαίσιο του προγράμματος για την ένταξη ΥΤΧ στην αγορά εργασίας της Κύπρου, η ομάδα της Opinion & Action είχε συνάντηση με την Υπηρεσία Ασύλου παρουσία του προιστάμενου κ. Σταύρου Χριστοφή, όπου συζητήθηκαν στατιστικά τα οποία θα μπορούσαν να υποβοηθήσουν στην καλύτερη κατανόηση της κατάστασης των δικαιούχων, καθώς και τρόποι με τους οποίους μπορεί να φθάσει το μήνυμα “Kάνε το πρώτο βήμα” στον επωφελούμενο πληθυσμό.

On behalf of the partnership of the programme for the integration of Third Country Nationals into the Cyprus labour market, Opinion and Action group had a working meeting with supporting organisation Caritas Cyprus, which was centered around a discussion on how to disseminate the message “Take the First Step” to the beneficiary population.

Στο πλαίσιο του προγράμματος για την ένταξη ΥΤΧ στην αγορά εργασίας της Κύπρου, η ομάδα της Opinion & Action είχε συνάντηση με την οργάνωση Κάριτας Κύπρου, όπου συζητήθηκαν τρόποι με τους οποίους μπορεί να φθάσει το μήνυμα “κάνε το πρώτο βήμα” στον δικαιούχο πληθυσμό.

A pioneer training Programme that offers

vocational training and work orientation

for refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants


«First Step» is a one of its kind programme that aims to strengthen integration policy for refugees and immigrants on the most crucial issue related to access to the Cypriot labor market. The programme is being implemented since the start of this year by the Cypriot state, co-funded by the European Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.

«First step» includes a dissemination of information and registration period (until July 2020), vocational training of three hundred (300) Third Country Nationals (TCNs), with a special focus on recognised refugees, international protection beneficiaries and asylum seekers. During Phase A’ trainings, the candidates will engage in transferable and work skills development, linguistic and vocational training. Phase B’ will qualify one hundred (100) best performing candidates, who will participate in specialized professional training and apprenticeship programme to gain experience for rapid labor market integration.

Info point

Saturday 23 March 2019 Eleftheria Square
(Ledra – Onasagorou junction)

Further information:
TEL.: 22875561-3, 99024901


This is a first of its kind programme, that comes timely, when Cypriot society begins to realise the benefits from adopting a positive stance towards the development and integration potential of refugees and immigrants, particularly as it relates to work. «First Step» also includes a process of assessing participants’ needs that will highlight both their skills and expectations and how to unlock their potential. In this way, the programme contributes to combating social exclusion and gives opportunities to TCNs for active participation in the economic and social life of Cyprus.

This is a pilot programme with a budget of 250 thousand euros for the period up to July 2020 and is being implemented through a competitive process by an experienced partnership group in the field of vocational education and training.

The programme coordinator is IMH, the largest knowledge transfer and information organization in Cyprus. Other partners include the European University of Cyprus, a leading academic institution, AKMI S.A.(Greece) and KESEA (Cyprus) professional consultants, EEO Group S.A. (Greece) and Opinion & Action (Cyprus) expert advisers on European issues and communication.

«First Step», partners, will support  TCNs participants taking their first step, developing contacts and synergies with the refugee and immigrant communities and institutions supporting them such as the Cyprus Refugee Council, CARITAS and the Association Recognized Refugees.

The European University of Cyprus will offer its facilities in Nicosia and Limassol to run the program, as well as at least one scholarship for the most distinguished student. The European University facilities will also host a reception desk for managing applications.


Further information:
TEL.: 22875561-3, 99024901