Bridging the gap between youth skills and market needs

Frederick University's Liaison Office successfully held a conference on "Bridging the gap between youth skills and market needs" on 30th of March 2023 at the Hilton Nicosia Hotel, showcasing the Office's important connections to the industry.

As part of the activities of the "University Liaison Offices with the Labor Market" project, the Frederick University Liaison Office held a conference titled "Bridging the gap between the skills of new graduates and the needs of the labour market: Frederick University Liaison Office". The purpose of the conference was to present the actions and achievements of the University Liaison Office and to further network the university community with the business world, as part of its strategic planning.

The active support of students for their future careers and their smooth promotion in the labour market is a key objective of the Frederick University Liaison Office. It has succeeded the intensification of the communication with the business world in order to receive feedback on the University's programs of study and to offer its students their first professional experience, relevant to their subject of study, through their placement in private and public institutions.

Frederick University's Rector, Professor George Demosthenous, welcomed the guests at the conference, stressing that the connection with the business world is high in the University's strategic aspirations. "We recognize that we must prepare our students, not only with the appropriate knowledge, but also with the necessary skills, values ​​and attitudes that will enable them to face future challenges. The collaboration between Universities and the industry contributes to a large extent to the development of the necessary skills that today's graduates are required to have. In addition, we take into account changing data, international trends, developments in technology and innovation and create curricula that integrate business knowledge and experience to meet the business needs and trends of today's labour market", said prof. Demosthenous. Among the various actions developed by the University for its connection with the business world, the Rector also referred to the creation of the Frederick University Living Lab (FULL), a pedagogical initiative which combines project-based, participatory and experiential learning through community connections and partnerships. Students come into contact with real working conditions and use their knowledge and skills to provide solutions to real problems. Many of FULL's projects are linked to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.

During the Conference, Mrs. Theodora Gioti, former Senior Executive at the Liaison Office of Frederick University, presented the report of the Office's work. Ms. Gioti mentioned that in the context of the project, 326 students from 12 study programs of the University have been placed in companies to date, which included the placement as an optional or compulsory course. Dr. Nikolas Christofides, Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering and Informatics of the University and Dr. Athanasia Tzortzi, Marketing Lecturer in the Department of Business Administration, also participated in the conference as speakers. Dr Christofides spoke about the modern requirements of the job market in the field of Electronics, while Dr Tziortzi's presentation concerned the necessity and importance of previous experience in a similar position.

Additionally, the conference was attended by representatives of the companies EY Cyprus Advisory Services Limited and Petrolina (Holdings) Public Ltd. Specifically, Mr. Iakovos M. Kefalas, Senior Manager, Indirect Tax, EY Cyprus Advisory Services Limited, referred to the benefits offered by the placements in EY Cyprus, while Mr. Omiros Motitis, HR Manager, Petrolina (Holdings) Public Ltd, spoke about the importance of the collaboration between Petrolina and the University Liaison Offices with the labor market.

A student and an alumni of Frederick University shared their experience and benefits of being placed in companies through the Liaison Office: Mr. Kostas Tsangaridis, Mechanical Engineer, graduate of the University's Department of Mechanical Engineering, who is a researcher at Space Systems Solutions (S3) Ltd, and Mr. Vagianos Vagianou, student in the Physical Education and Sports Science program of the University.
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