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Turkish Cypriots face long-term unemployment

26 February 2014

Turkish Cypriots in the TRNC are facing the problem of long-term unemployment. According to a state report last year, current unemployment rates in the country stand at 9.5% officially. This however does not include unofficial figures.

In a country where 90% of 18-30 year olds are university graduates, there are just not enough jobs for graduates. While many of them are in work, the vast majority are constantly on the look-out for better prospects.

Even though the economy in the TRNC is growing, this holds very little benefit for graduates. Recently qualified teachers end up labouring while they wait for job opportunities to arise in education.

The TRNC’s Social Security Minister Aziz Gurpinar told Al-Jazeera Turk that there was a glut of teaching and law graduates, with the result that many of them have to leave the island in search of better prospects.

Offering a ray of hope, hydrocarbon discoveries offshore Cyprus have laid the pathway to the resumption of talks; a peace settlement could greatly improve the chances of employment on both sides of the island.

However, while it is certain that the development of the energy industry in the eastern Mediterranean will create new jobs in Cyprus, there is concern over the lack of people with the appropriate skills on both sides of the island, especially the Turkish Cypriots who have had no prior experience in the field of energy.

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