3.4 Career guidance and counselling
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The following career guidance and counselling services are offered by government:
- The first type is offered by the Public Employment Service (PES) (Δημόσια Υπηρεσία Απασχόλησης) of the Department of Labour (Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance) to all unemployed people (including youth), providing information and guidance. The Public Employment Services of the Department of Labour operate at central and district level, with Labour Offices at the Districts of Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca and Pafos. At the District Labour Offices, job seekers are assisted in finding suitable employment through registration and placement services, as well as through the provision of vocational guidance and counselling on training opportunities. The PES counsellors invite young people for providing support, guidance and assistance through individualised services, aiming at their return back into education or participating in active labour market policies to facilitate their entry into the labour market. This guidance service is independent of the Youth Guarantee's scheme.
- The second type is a special career guidance offered by the PES to the youth aged between 15-29 years old. Registration with the PES will be the entry point for youth into the Guarantee. The registration requirement will allow the PES to collect the information necessary for planning service delivery, allocate resources, monitor individual progression and evaluate policy outcomes. At the low‐intensity service stage, young individuals will be informed about the services available, what they may expect from the guarantee and the specific requirements that apply. This stage of assistance provides young people with labour market information, group counselling and job search training to enable them to search for work independently for a period of three months. If by the end of the assisted job search period the young beneficiary still has no concrete job prospects, she/he is referred to individualized counselling and guidance. This second tier of assistance will allow to: i) identify the specific barrier(s) faced by the young individual in entering the labour market (risk factors), and ii) select the most effective mix of services and programmes to lead to a job or back to education. The intervention strategy agreed upon by the casework and the young person will become the core feature of the Individual Employment Plan (IEP).
70% of the budget and the target to be allocated for the age group 15‐24.
This is an integrated service delivery model introduced for the implementation of the Youth Guarantee.
- 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, Culture, 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.
This guidance service is independent of the Youth Guarantee's scheme.
- The Career Counselling Services are offered by the Youth Board of Cyprus. It offers 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.
Τhe funding information of the career guidance and counselling services mentioned in the section above is provided below:
- As illustrated in the National Action Plan for Youth Employment, the budget for the 1st type of service as described above (as well as others under measures aiming for the objective “Enhance the Service Capacity of the PES and providing information and guidance to the youth”) for the period 2015-2017 is 2.000.000 euros, the funding source of which is European Structural Funds. It is managed by the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance.
- As illustrated in the National Action Plan for Youth Employment, the funding for the 2nd type of career guidance and counselling services (as described before) is the European Structural Funds. These are managed by the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and is calculated at 500.000 euros.
- Τhe budget for the Career Counselling and Educational Services (CCES) is managed by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport & Youth and its source is public funding.
- The source of funding for the Career Counselling Services offered by the Youth Board comes from the State’s budget. The amount of funding for 2020-2021 is €55.000.
There was no information found about any existing system of quality assurance of the services of career guidance and counselling in the country.