OVERVIEW

Enhancing the provision of guidance and counselling services to all population groups is a policy priority, as outlined in the Lifelong Learning Strategy 2014-2020, (Ethniki Stratigiki dia Viou Mathisis) for Cyprus.

The vision of Cyprus as for Lifelong Learning (LLL) and lifelong guidance (LLG) is to define an integrated strategy which covers all kinds/types of learning - formal, non-formal and informal at all levels - from pre-school, primary, secondary general and vocational education to higher education, vocational training and adult education. This strategy aims to form a system that ensures that all individuals have the motivation, support, guidance, means, resources and time to participate in learning activities throughout their lifetime.  The main objective of the Cyprus LLL strategy is to create a society in which all citizens have the skills that enable them to deal with any challenges and changes that happen in their lives, moving freely between learning settings, jobs, regions and countries. The strategy envisages an equal and active participation of all members of the society, strengthening the country’s productivity, innovation, competitiveness and dynamism. 

The main challenges that the LLG strategy in Cyprus are:

  1. Addressing the impact of the economic crisis and the re- skilling of the labour force
  2. Adapting the lifelong learning system to a greener economy
  3. Promoting transparency of qualifications (through formal, non-formal or informal learning) and mobility of the human resource (inter-sectoral and geographical)

POLICY

The main actors for guidance and counselling in Cyprus are the Ministry of Education and Culture (MOEC), the Ministry of Labour Welfare and Social Insurance (MLWSI) and the Human Resource Development Authority (HRDA).

Other important providers of guidance in Cyprus include:

  • The Cyprus Youth Board specialized in guidance for the youth until the age of 30.
  • Trade Unions and Municipalities.
  • Career Services of Universities in Cyprus

The Cyprus National Forum of Lifelong Guidance was established in March 2012 by a decision of the Council of Ministers. Its aim is to develop a specific policy in line with the 2004 and 2008 Council of Europe Resolutions on lifelong guidance and the Commission Communication (2010) "Europe 2020 - A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth". Its main objectives are:

  • Coordination and communication between guidance services
  • Establish a guidance quality assurance framework
  • Enhance citizens' access to guidance services
  • Promote research on guidance
  • Representing Cyprus in meetings and working groups at European and international level on lifelong guidance. 

SERVICES AND PRACTICE  

The Counselling and Career Education Services (CCES) of the Ministry of Education and Culture offers students of public secondary general and technical schools assistance in developing personal awareness as regards their interests, needs and skills and in making suitable decisions about their education and career. Academic and vocational guidance is provided through the CCES to the general public as well on a personal basis. The services are provided by qualified guidance counsellors, who have gone through specialised post-graduate education. The counsellors are placed in each secondary school and at the central offices of the CCES at the MoEC. 

The Vocational Guidance Service of the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance is delivered through the Public Employment Service (PES). It provides information on employment prospects and opportunities or on skills-training possibilities. Furthermore, the PES provide assistance to employers, job-seekers and those in employment who wish to change jobs, through registration and placement services, provision of information on training opportunities and job vacancies. The candidate placement system performs a wide range of functions, including: registration and updating of clients history; registration of employers and vacancies; and monitoring clients interviews with employers.

The Department of Labour of the MLWSI, in accordance with the Euroguidance initiative (EUROGUIDANCE CYPRUS), provides information about private and public education and training opportunities that exist in Cyprus and in Europe in general.

The Human Resources Development Authority (HRDA) perform each year a series of surveys and studies on labour market needs and current trends. The studies are available on the its webside for further use from all interested parties ans services in the field of employment guidance.

Furthermore, the Cyprus Youth Board (Organismos Neoleas Kyprou, ONEK), in cooperation with local youth organisations has information and counselling facilities targeting the young people up to 30 years old. They provide guidance and counselling through its “Youth Information Centres” (KEPLI). The Youth Information Centres operate based on European standards and provide young people with general information and counselling services on issues that interest youngsters.  The information is provided in both printed and electronic form by the personnel of these Centres, through activities and by offering free access to the internet. 

TRAINING

The Counselling and Career Education Service of the MoEC is part of the Department of Secondary Education.  The service is staffed with qualified counsellors who have gone through specialised post-graduate education either in Cyprus or abroad. In order to be employed in the service all guidance practitioners must also have their initial teacher training completed. The guidance counsellors are appointed in each upper secondary school and provide vocational guidance to students both in class sessions and on a personal basis upon request. 

Since 2006, the Public Employment Services of the MLWSI are staffed with qualified Employment Counsellors with relevant professional qualifications in sociology, psychology and human resources. Since their hiring by the PES, they have been repeatedly trained by external experts, in order to provide all necessary guidance services for the PES. The Vocational Guidance Service of the Public Employment Services, PES provides information to adults and secondary-school graduates on employment prospects and opportunities or on skills-training possibilities. The PES organises its career guidance services through a network of 4 District and 12 local offices all over Cyprus.

Since 2014 Guidance courses at Master’s level are taught in Cyprus Universities. These opportunities can be found below:                                                                                                                                                                            

  1. European University: Career Guidance and Counselling (Master’s programme) -
  2. University of Cyprus: School Counselling and Guidance (Master’s Programme) -
  3. University of Nicosia - Counselling Psychology (Master’s programme
  4. The European University offers a Ph.D. programme in Psychology that provides the opportunity to candidates to carry out research in a field of Psychology, choosing among Clinical, Counselling, Developmental, Neuropsychology, School and Social Psychology.

RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT  

Currently there is no information about this topic

ETHICS

There is no ethical code concerning the guidance service provision in Cyprus. One of the objectives of the National Forum of LLG is to start negotiating with all interest parties about the subject. Until 2017 there was no official initiative on this matter.

Last update by ©Euroguidance Cyprus (March 2018)