The persistent economic crisis and its adverse effects on the labour market, which include high levels of unemployment, especially among the young, pose a critical challenge for the education and training system of Cyprus. In such economic conditions, lifelong learning plays an important role as it allows human resources to improve their employability by upgrading their skills, adapt to changes and move freely between sectors, occupations and countries.
The Cyprus lifelong learning strategy for 2014-20 (CyLLS), approved by the council of ministers in June 2014, contains the main policy priorities for lifelong learning and sets the main actions that will be promoted by the Cyprus government.
- improving access to lifelong learning for all and recognising learning outcomes;
- improving quality and efficiency of education and training;
- promoting research and development to support lifelong learning;
- improving employability (promoting entry and reentry to the labour market).
· The main actions include:
- operation of the national qualifications framework;
- promotion of the system of vocational qualifications;
- improvement of lifelong guidance and counselling services;
- improvement of attractiveness of secondary technical and vocational education;
- modernisation of curricula;
- training the unemployed to acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes in sectors with potential for development;
- provision of job placements for the unemployed to acquire work experience in enterprises/organisations;
- continuation of the new modern apprenticeship programme.
CyLLS was prepared by the Directorate General for European Programmes, Coordination and Development, in cooperation with members of the technical committee for lifelong learning (comprising Directorate General for European Programmes, Coordination and Development, Ministry of Education and Culture, Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance, Human Resource Development Authority of Cyprus and Cyprus Productivity Centre).
The national lifelong learning committee and the supporting technical committee are responsible for monitoring, coordinating and promoting all necessary actions to implement CyLLS, as well as issuing progress reports.