Forex, services sectors still driving employment opportunities
The government statistics office Cystat said that the number of registered unemployed fell to 38,365 in September, recording a monthly drop of 6.4% and -11% yearon-year, while the seasonally adjusted figure for unemployed fell 1.5% and an annual 10%.
The lion’s share of jobless figures is still in the construction sector, followed by the retail and commercial sector, manufacturing, financial services and education. However, analysts suggest these figures may be skewed as the retail sector has the highest turnover rate of layoffs and re-hirings, spurred by the government’s incentives for unemployed graduates eager to gain work experience. On the other hand, seasonal jobs, such as in the hotel and catering sectors, are affected as tourism figures go down, while the education sector will smooth out once final placements are made in public and private schools that re-opened in September.
On the other hand, the chief executives of two major recruitment firms suggest that despite the news of forex companies collapsing under the burden of losses from the Chinese and Russian markets, others are hiring.
“The environment and infrastructure of Cyprus for these brokers remains positive even if the view is that regulator CySEC is getting stricter, while the binary sector, too, is booming. Many of the licensed binary companies have built call centres in Cyprus,” said Donna Stephenson, co-founder of Limassol-based Global Recruitment Solutions (GRS Group) www.grsrecruitment.com .
She suggests that new areas, primarily in the services sectors are compensating for the lack of significant movement in the energy sector, that will only kick off once the major oil and gas finds in Egyptian shores have been evaluated and exploration companies determine their next moves in Cyprus waters.
“We have seen an increase in the demand for hires from clients and intermediaries as a result of the de-authorisation legislation that requires companies to build substance in their structures by having an office with employees operating in Cyprus rather than a name plate and no substance. The job creation is very welcome as these clients are hiring professionally qualified candidates in accounting, legal and finance as well as administrative support staff. These companies are also renting office space, purchasing or renting houses and apartments for their employees and directors, which is also good for the economy,” said Stephenson.
She gave the example that GRS recently assisted a Russian company hire a team of 15 accounting employees for their new office in Cyprus.
“Of course the legislation would have forced some to rethink their structures and look at alternative jurisdictions, but for those that are here there are many advantages for companies to create substance in Cyprus. These international developments and legislative changes have, therefore, created opportunity for job creation in Cyprus.”
Stephenson said that despite the Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) getting stricter with forex and investment companies, “various regulations also created employment opportunities for hires in compliance, knowyour-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML). The sector associations are improving access to learning and developing skills for the talent available in Cyprus, as was seen recently with the Cyrus Investment Funds Association (CIFA) running a one-day seminar www.cyprusfundssummit.com aimed at the investment fund industry.”
As regards other qualifications, Donna Stephenson said that the CySEC examinations have been popular, but it is still a difficult task for the owners of approved investment companies (CIFs) to source the right fit an applicant who holds the compulsory CySEC certifications/qualifications to meet with the regulator’s conditions for the operating license. “Essentially, this is creating a demand and supply problem.”