3.4 Career guidance and counselling
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The following career guidance and counselling services are offered by government:
Career Counselling and Educational Services (CCES) of the Ministry of Education, Sport & Youth
The Career Counselling and Educational Services (CCES) (Υπηρεσία Συμβουλευτικής και Επαγγελματικής Αγωγής) operate under the umbrella of the Secondary Education Administration of the Cyprus Ministry of Education, Sport & Youth. Their main aim is the personal, social, educational and vocational development of high school students and other people. The CCES maintains Counselling and Career Guidance offices in all public Secondary and Technical schools as well as Central Career Guidance offices at the Ministry of Education and Culture.Taking into consideration the individuality of each person, their abilities and their freedom of will, the CCES aims to help students and other people to:
- Develop positive self-esteem, self-approval and self-confidence.
- Identify their abilities, interests and skills.
- Use their unique capabilities and aptitudes to achieve self-awareness.
- Acquire the right skills to deal effectively with personal, family and/or social issues in life.
- Adjust to the school environment in order to progress both educationally and socially.
- Develop critical thinking.
- Develop the necessary skills that will allow use of appropriate information effectively and make well informed decisions concerning educational, vocational and personal choices.
- Learn about the nature and demands of various vocations as well as the current social, economic and cultural developments so that correct educational choices are made.
The Career Counselling Services of the Youth Board
The Career Counselling Services of the Youth Board offer young people of various ages and needs counselling and guidance on academic, professional and personal development. The meetings take place at the Youth Information Centres. Career Counselling Services are based on four action pillars:
- Personalized career counseling and guidance: Personal meetings between YBC career counsellors and school students, university students and young people. Personal counselling sessions may cover a wide range of topics: school subjects selection guidance, filling of public university entrance application forms, information on studying in Cyprus and abroad, CV building, academic and professional options, etc.
- Career test and result analysis: Career tests are suitable for students (Middle school, High school, Technical school), university students and other young people. Career test is a valuable supportive tool for career counsellors that allows them to offer personalised guidance based on the interests and skills of each young person. Through the career test, young people achieve self-awareness and discover certain hidden talents, skills and personality features. This self-discovery will help them select a more suitable academic and professional path. The test is offered free of charge, following a preliminary meeting with the YBC career counsellor who will decide whether a career test is recommended or not.
- Series of workshops on soft skills development: These address school and university students, job seekers and young professionals. The workshops aim at preparing young people for the job market (e.g. CV drafting, preparation for a job interview, good practices for job hunting, etc.). They also provide professional development skills that help young people become successful professionals (e.g. presentation and communication skills, cooperation and group work, digital skills development, etc.).
- Career academies: Career academies are open to students, job seekers and young professionals who wish to achieve professional development. Youth Board of Cyprus Career Academies are one or two-day events that offer comprehensive training on professional development through lectures and workshops by leading key-note speakers. Participants attend intensive lectures, inspirational speeches by young professionals or other trainers from the business sector and participate actively in experiential workshops. Through their active participation, young participants exchange good practices, practice networking and develop on a personal and professional level. A wide range of topics is covered, such as: Career choice, job hunting, junior career development, funding opportunities, professional skills development, etc. All Career Counselling Services are offered free of charge to all young people.
Counselling and career guidance by the Public Employment Service (PES)
The Public Employment Service (PES) is responsible for the activation of job seekers, especially the youth and other vulnerable groups, and their effective integration into the labour market through the provision of job-search services, information about all the current training and employment opportunities, professional guidance, and individualized counselling and support.
Through the PES process the employment counsellors and the labour officers refer the unemployed, as frequently as possible, to the currently available active labour market measures, such as vacant post, training programs or subsidized employment posts, taking into consideration the profiling of each unemployed and the needs of the labour market. The clients who, are evaluated as difficult cases of unemployed, such as the youngsters, are referred to an employment counsellor and are introduced in the individualised counselling approach. The evaluation takes into consideration the employment potential of each unemployed which is based on the collected personal information of the profiling and includes information about marital status, health status, dependents, employment history, education level, competences, communication difficulties, social situation, other skills and experiences etc.
During the first meeting under the individualised approach, a second assessment takes place after an in-depth profiling where the employment counsellors collect further data of the unemployed labour needs and competences which enable them to accurately assess the employment potential of the candidates and design their Individual Action Plan (IAP).
The bilateral development of Individual Action Plan (IAP) is a customised plan in which jobseekers participate actively and agree with his/her counsellor the actions to be promoted in order to achieve their fast and effective integration in the labour market and the frequency and duration of their meetings. Each IAP agreement implies continuous support and monitoring from the Counsellor. The greatest duration of an IAP is one year but it can be revised as often as every 28 days or every three months or whenever is deemed necessary.
The Monitoring of the IAP lasts for a period of 12 months at the maximum and it can be renewed if certain criteria are met. After placement follow up is possible depending on individual’s needs. IAP is revised when is needed according to individual’s needs.
Minimum contact time between employment counsellors and unemployed is typically once every 4 weeks but may vary according to individual’s needs and the counsellor’s assessment. It is noted that, some specific groups of unemployed, such as people released from prison and human trafficking victims, are assigned to selected and usually more experienced counsellors.
In cases where the PES counsellors assess the need of an unemployed for being referred to other competent services before he or she starts working to help with his/her integration in the labour market, they communicate with competent officers of these services and make the relevant referral in order to facilitate the direct provision of their services and the direct promotion of their actions and care. The PES is cooperating with Mental Health counsellors of Ministry of Health, social workers of Deputy Ministry of Social Welfare, Counsellors of Department for Social Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities, and Counsellors of Youth Board.
Τhe funding information of the career guidance and counselling services mentioned in the section above is provided below:
Τhe budget for the Career Counselling and Educational Services (CCES) is managed by the Ministry of Education, Sport & Youth and its source is public funding.
There was no information found about any existing system of quality assurance of the services of career guidance and counselling in the country.