Challenge your future: Skills, Trends, Opportunities”: 3rd National Youth Summit – Cyprus:

On 30 April 2018, the Youth Board of Cyprus, the State department for youth issues of the Republic of Cyprus, organised the 3rd National Youth Summit entitled “Challenge your future: Skills, Trends, Opportunities”.

More than 200 young people actively participated in the National Youth Summit, along with Members of Parliament, other stakeholders and representatives of different governmental departments. All participants contributed to influencing decision-making processes related to youth issues.

The agenda included discussions on current challenges faced by young people in terms of their integration into the labour market. The subject was developed by a key-note speaker, Ms Michaela Horvathova (Education & Skills for the Digital Age Expert), while the young people who participated had the opportunity to present their own opinions and suggestions and to make suggestions to the State on the following themes: knowledge, skills, character, learning. As well as the introductory speeches, a round table discussion took place between young people and representatives from the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Parliamentary Committee for Education, experts on educational curricula and other stakeholders. Moreover, workshops were organised for young participants, who were asked to address specific questions in relation to four general topics: skills, character traits, knowledge and learning processes. After the workshops were concluded, the answers were put into the online digital platform OPIN and were presented during the final plenary session of the Summit, thus giving concrete suggestions on how educational and school curricula should be changed in order to better correspond to the changing needs of young people and to the demands of the modern technology-oriented world.

The Youth Board’s aim was to compose a policy paper that will include all the suggestions and views of young people expressed at the Summit, which will then be promoted to policy makers and other competent bodies that can support young people to make full use of their potential.

Furthermore, during the Summit, a seminar took place which was addressed to policy makers and other stakeholders. The seminar was entitled: "Four-Dimensional Education: Knowledge, Skills, Character, Meta-Learning".

The Minister of Education and Culture, Mr. Kostas Hambiaouris, attended the Summit and in his welcome speech he noted: "The warmth and enthusiasm I see here today prove that young people want and can be factors of positive change in our country." The President of the Youth Board of Cyprus, Mr. Panagiotis Sentonas, said: "Technological revolution affects all aspects of our lives. It transforms the world of work, leading to new socio-economic changes. In this Summit, we want to discuss with our young people the findings of our research, and also to record their own ideas about what knowledge, skills and values re necessary to have in this challenging era we live in. "

The 3rd Youth Summit was under the auspices of the President of the Republic, Mr. Nikos Anastasiadis, and puts in practice one of the most fundamental principles of the National Youth Strategy of Cyprus: the principle of participation of young people in decision-making processes on all issues that concern them.

Erika Branca