EIMF Roundtable Discussion on: Investing in Professional Skills as an Accelerator for Sustainable Economic Growth

EIMF Roundtable Discussion on: Investing in Professional Skills as an Accelerator for Sustainable Economic Growth

On Friday, November 3, 2023, the European Institute of Management and Finance (EIMF) hosted a pivotal roundtable discussion with the participation of all key stakeholders, focusing on the crucial theme of “Investing in Professional Skills as an Accelerator for Sustainable Economic Growth.”

This event was conducted in alignment with the European Year of Skills, underscoring the paramount importance of continuous professional development in the context of a rapidly evolving economic landscape and professional environment.

Distinguished Speakers Highlight Urgent Need for Skill Development

The discussion commenced with an intervention from the Minister of Labor and Social Insurance, Mr. Yiannis Panagiotou, who emphasised the pressing need to instigate a shift in the professional and organisational culture. He articulated the importance of fostering a culture that aligns with the principles of a green, digital, quality, and safe work era.

MEP Loukas Fourlas, Rapporteur of the European Year of Skills 2023, highlighted in his remarks the necessity of prioritising skills (re-skilling and up-skilling) in a swiftly changing economic environment. He also commended on the role Cyprus had in promoting this matter at the European level.

Expert Insights on Transforming Administration and Economy

Keynote speaker, Dr. Alexia Panagiotou (Associate Professor in the Department of Business and Public Administration and UNESCO Chair at the University of Cyprus), delivered an insightful presentation where she highlighted how administrative and economic transformations can effectively bridge increasing inequalities. Dr. Panagiotou stressed the significance of transversal skills for both the new generation and the workforce’s ongoing professional development. In particular, she emphasised the critical roles of adaptability to change and resilience in challenging situations, as essential components of effective leadership.

Robust Roundtable Discussion with Prominent Stakeholders

Following the presentations, a comprehensive roundtable discussion took place that was moderated by EIMF Academic Director Dr Adonis Pegasiou and EIMF Chief Research Advisor Xenia Constantinou. Distinguished representatives from various organisations where allocated equal time to express their views and concerns regarding developments in the labour market. The following organisations took part in the event:
• Human Resource Development Authority of Cyprus (HRDA)
• Ministry of Labour – Productivity Centre
• Cyprus Chamber of Commerce
• Cyprus Employers and Industrialists Federation
• Cyprus Human Resources Management Association
• Cyprus Payroll Management Association
• Cyprus Workers’ Confederation (SEK)
• Pancyprian Federation of Labour (PEO)
• Youth Board of Cyprus
• The Institute of Certified Public Accountants

Consensus on Linking Education and Economy

In conclusion, a prevailing consensus emerged, highlighting the imperative to further develop and strengthen a two-way interactive link between the education sector (including professional training) and the economy. The discussions emphasised the mutually beneficial effects stemming from an effective relationship between the two, enabling education institutions and businesses to effectively respond to the ever-evolving training and retraining needs in the highly competitive economic landscape. Furthermore, the need for political will and high-level coordination between the various state authorities and agencies was emphasised as the linchpin for enhancing and updating methodologies in the identification and provision of new skills in an equitable, timely and efficient manner.

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