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.
Saturday 23 March 2019 Eleftheria Square
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.