3.5 Traineeships and apprenticeships
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There are no main top-level official guidelines concerning traineeships or apprenticeship in Cyprus.
Depending on the traineeship or apprenticeship scheme, the responsibilities of each party involved (providers and participants) are formulated. Few examples of traineeships or apprenticeship can be found below:
- Post-Secondary Institutes of Vocational Education and Training (Μεταλυκειακά Ινστιτούτα Επαγγελματικής Εκπαίδευσης και Κατάρτισης (ΜΙΕΕΚ): This traineeship offers opportunities for Cypriot citizens and especially young people to acquire, improve or upgrade their professional qualifications and skills to make them more capable of employment and participation in the labor market. The idea is to offer modern curricula that provide scientific, technical and professional knowledge and skills while being flexible and adaptable to the rapid changes in employment, the economy, the professions and the content of the professions. The programme aims to facilitate access to and integration into the labor market of graduates of secondary education and people with difficulties of integration / reintegration into employment. Social security is not covered by this scheme.
- Vocational Education and Training Apprenticeship System (Σύστημα Μαθητείας Επαγγελματικής Εκπαίδευσης και Κατάρτισης (ΣΜΕΕΚ): This Apprenticeship System aims to ensure that young people are employed and remain socially active as active citizens while meeting the needs of the labour market. Its main objectives are:
- To offer alternative learning styles to adolescents who leave the formal education system and who need to develop specific skills or professional skills, taking the appropriate skills, either for further education in choices offered by the education system or for employment in the labor market.
- To ensure mobility and flexibility in the choices of young people offered by the education system, apprenticeship and work, without dead ends and exclusions.
- To improve the labour offer with young people who are adequate, qualified and certified professionals, ready to meet the needs of the economy.
- Providing Opportunities to New Graduates of Architecture and Civil Engineering up to 29 who are NEET (offered by Technical Chamber of Cyprus). The project is expected to run until autumn 2022 and the aim is to offer 1-year-traineeship to NEETs who are up to 29 years old and graduates of Architecture and Civil Engineering.
- Providing Opportunities to Graduates of Law (2017-2021) up to 29 who are NEET (offered by Cyprus Bar Association). The project is open to law graduates who have obtained a Certificate of Registration for a Practitioner and at the same time they are up to 29 years old and NEETs at the commencement stage of their training. This project is co-funded by the European Social Funds and the Youth Employment Initiative.
The traineeships and apprenticeships are usually promoted through the career guidance and counselling services described in section 3.4.
Apart from this, there are no other top-level policy measures or initiatives to facilitate the participation, support and awareness of young people about traineeships and apprenticeships.
When it comes to the Post- Secondary Institutes of Vocational Education and Training and the Vocational Education and Training Apprenticeship System, the skills young people acquired are formally recognised by Cyprus. As a result of their participation, they obtain a diploma or a certificate. So far, young people cannot validate the knowledge, skills and competences acquired in any other way since such mechanisms are not yet in place.
Both, the Post-Secondary Institutes of Vocational Education and Training and the Vocational Education and Training Apprenticeship System are co-funded by the European Social Fund and the Republic of Cyprus. The amount of funding is not available.
The budget for the Scheme “Providing Opportunities to New Graduates of Architecture and Civil Engineering up to 29 who are NEET” (offered by the Scientific and Technical Chamber of Cyprus) is € 6,000,000. Τhe scheme is co-funded by the Youth Employment Initiative and the European Social Funds.
There are not any existing systems of quality assurance applied to schemes of traineeships and apprenticeships in the country. The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth prepares annual reports,which includes information on the Post-Secondary Institutes of Vocational Education and Training and the Vocational Education and Training Apprenticeship System.