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The Operational Programme (OP) “Employment, Human Resources and Social Cohesion” is co-financedby the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI)*and is one of the two Programmes prepared for the effective utilisation of the resources of the Cohesion Policy in the period 2014-2020. The other Operational Programme is theCompetitiveness and Sustainable Development, which is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund.

The OP “Employment, Human Resources and Social Cohesion”constitutesa programming document that includes specific priorities and indicative categories of interventions which will be implemented during the period 2014-2020, contributing towards the strategic objective of the
Partnership Agreement for the restructuring of the Cyprus economy, the preservation and creation of new jobs and the safeguarding of social cohesion.

The total budget of the Programme amounts to €163 mln, out of which €140,5 mln will be financed by ESF, €11,5 mln by YEI, whereas the remaining amount will be financed from national resources. The co-financing rate from ESF reaches 85%, while YEI co-financing is 100%.

Within the framework of the OP “Employment, Human Resources and Social Cohesion”, interventions planned will contribute to the promotion of employment, the preservation of social cohesion, the improvement of vocational education and training aiming at the matching of the skills with the labour market needs, the promotion and certification of lifelong learning and the enhancement of the administrative capacity of public authorities and stakeholders.

The interventions will include investments of the broader public sector, as well as grant schemes/incentives addressed to the private sector.

The OP “Employment, Human Resources and Social Cohesion” 2014-2020, was approved by a European Commission’s Implementing Decision on 25th February2015.
OP “Employment, Human Resources and Social Cohesion” 2014-2020 (Version Dec. 2014)
* Youth Employment Initiative:

The Republic of Cyprus is an eligible region for support in the framework of the Youth Employment Initiative of the EU. The eligibility criterion for the Initiative was the youth unemployment rate to be higher than 25% during the year of reference 2012. In this respect, an amount of €11,572,101 (in current prices) was allocated to Cyprus, in addition to the resources allocated for the Cohesion Policy 2014-2020. The said amount is front loaded for the years 2014 and 2015 and is subject to the rule “N+3”, which means that their implementation can be made within three years from the commitment years, i.e. until 2017 and 2018 respectively.

The Youth Employment Initiative constitute part of the programming for the utilization of the European Social Fund resources matched by at least the same amount from the ESF funds for this initiative. Within the framework of the Operational Programme “Employment, Human Resources and Social Cohesion” 2014-2020, a dedicated Priority Axis has been developed especially for the Youth Employment Initiative.

For the implementation of the Youth Employment Initiative, a National Action Plan has been prepared including the revised Action Plan for the implementation of the Recommendation of the “Youth Guarantee”, according to which for each young person aged 15-24, a quality offer for employment, education or training should be provided within a period of 4 months after the day it becomes unemployed or completes/ interrupts its education.
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