No one should be left behind, says Cypriot MEP Loucas Fourlas, rapporteur of European Year of Skills 2023 report

People should be at the top of our priorities and no one should be left behind, Cyprus MEP Loucas Fourlas said. He is the rapporteur of the report for the European Year of Skills 2023 and meeting Friday with a group of journalists and other interested parties, he outlined the ambitions and the aim of the European Year, recognising the great honor but also the heavy responsibility he bears.

The Cyprus MEP analyzed the key parameters of the project and how Cyprus and its people can benefit and how the EU will try to reach all its citizens in the most remote areas. The MEP said that the report will most probably be adopted by the EP plenary on May 9th, Europe Day.

Fourlas said that Europe is facing major challenges regarding both labour issues and professional employment and added that the importance of skills has been particularly emphasised and everyone recognises the need for European citizens to have the necessary skills for the future. The Cypriot MEP said that the EU aims for 80% of adults to have at least basic digital skills and that this is a prerequisite for the green and digital transition.

He noted that skills have nothing to do with age and that skills can be acquired both by students who should choose to study the right profession and by people who are already in the workforce and need to upgrade their skills as their jobs are being modernised.

The Cypriot MEP said that the EU takes the issue of specialisation very seriously in the future and that no one will be left behind. He stated that the aim is to have a targeted campaign taking into account also the gaps and mistakes made during the European Year of Youth for which young people across Europe when asked about their experiences replied that they feel like it was just a campaign “in the Brussels bubble”.

He emphasised that the goal is for everyone to benefit, all social groups and to involve employers and employees, university institutions, businesses and other stakeholders. The Cypriot MEP said that in the near future some professions will cease to exist and new ones will emerge and therefore the cooperation of the state and private sector is required in order to have full access to data concerning future needs in the labour market.

He also said that to this end, paid internships will also be enacted into law.

Fourlas said that events are planned in Cyprus in March and April, in the presence of EU Commissioners, to give the impetus for the EU campaign for the European Year.

Director General at Human Resource Development Authority of Cyprus, Yiannis Mourouzidis, national coordinator for the 2023 Year of Skills, said that everyone’s coordination and cooperation is required and that the goals set are in line with the Authority’s own goals for the development of knowledge and skills and for lifelong learning.

He said that a steering committee would be set up to coordinate all actions and oversee the cooperation of all stakeholders with the aim of maximising the benefit for all.

Source: Cyprus News Agency