Reference year 2019

    1Scheme history

    Q1. When was the scheme introduced?
    Long history (before 2000)
    Recently introduced (between 2000-2012)
    New pathway (after 2012)

    The Apprenticeship Scheme (AS) has a long history since it was introduced in 1963.

    It was reformed and renamed into New Modern Apprenticeship in 2012 by the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance.

    In 2015, the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Cyprus, with its Decision no. 78.658, designated the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth responsible for the apprenticeship scheme.

    Q2. How did the apprenticeship scheme originate?
    Traditional craftsmanship (master-apprentice relation) to prepare apprentices for the occupation
    School-based VET track by including more work-based learning to supply skilled workforce to match labour market needs


    Q3. Does the legal basis define the minimum and maximum age limits for enrolment of the target group of this scheme?
    Minimum and maximum age limits defined
    Minimum age limits defined only

    Learners interested in joining the core apprenticeship are eligible if they are up to the age of 18 by December of the school year they apply to enroll.
    They must have successfully completed compulsory education (lower secondary) at the age of 15 or go through the preparatory apprenticeship option.

    Preparatory apprenticeship targets young people up to 16 who have not completed compulsory lower secondary education. It is a school-based option that gradually introduces students to the labour market, giving them a taste of what VET would be like, and helping them choose a specialisation when they go on to the core apprenticeship. It is one of the two options to enroll to the core apprenticeship, the other being completion of secondary education.

    See more in Cedefop’s Thematic country review of apprenticeships in Cyprus.

    Q4. What is the average age of learners in practice?
    Between 15 and 18
    Between 18 and 24
    Above 24

    The age of learners is typically 15-18 years of age, corresponding to the age of learners in Upper Secondary Education.

    Q5. How many learners are enrolled in this scheme?

    School year 2015-16:
    156 apprentices enrolled - Core Apprenticeship
    54 students enrolled – Preparatory Apprenticeship

    School year 2016-17:
    165 apprentices enrolled – Core Apprenticeship
    60 students enrolled – Preparatory Apprenticeship

    School year 2017-18:
    161 apprentices enrolled – Core Apprenticeship
    53 students enrolled – Preparatory Apprenticeship

    School year 2018-19:
    136 apprentices enrolled – Core Apprenticeship
    70 students enrolled – Preparatory Apprenticeship

    School year 2019-20:
    143 students enrolled – Core Apprenticeship
    54 students enrolled – Preparatory Apprenticeship


    Q7. Are the qualifications included in the National Qualification Framework (NQF)?
    There is no NQF

    The Apprenticeship Certificate is included in the NQF level 3 (lower secondary education certificate 10th class).

    Q8. Is the scheme included in the ISCED 2011 mapping?

    Core apprenticeship corresponds to ISCED 352 (Upper secondary vocational education – sufficient for partial level completion, without direct access to post-secondary non-tertiary education or tertiary education).

    Part of the education and training acquired in the context of the apprenticeship scheme is recognised for completion of upper secondary VET at an Evening Technical School in less time (two years) than the standard one (three years), which in turn allows access to higher education.

    Q10. Which is the type of qualification obtained through the apprenticeship scheme?
    Formal VET qualification (which does not indicate the pathway)
    Formal VET qualification (which indicates the pathway)
    Formal apprenticeship qualification (journeyman, etc.)

    The type of qualification is the Apprenticeship Certificate, which is equivalent to EQF/NQF 3 and is awarded upon successful completion of the three - year Core Apprenticeship Scheme.

    Q11. Does the scheme provide direct access to higher education?

    The Scheme does not provide direct access to higher education, unless graduates of the Apprenticeship Scheme continue their studies in an Evening School of Technical and Vocational Education (which operate as second chance schools) to obtain the upper secondary education leaving certificate (Apolyterion) which will grant them access to higher education.

    The Department of Secondary Technical and Vocational Education and Training has linked the programmes offered by the Apprenticeship Scheme with the programmes offered by the Evening Schools. Part of the prior education and training acquired in the context of the Apprenticeship Scheme can be recognized and transferred. As a result, apprentices are given the opportunity to complete upper secondary education in two years (instead of three that is the standard duration of the Evening schools).

    Q12. What is the typical duration of the apprenticeship programme?

    The duration of the core apprenticeship is defined as three (3) school years, divided into six (6) terms. Each school year starts in September and ends in June.


    Q13. Is there any organization at the national level with roles in co-ordinating the scheme?

    The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth has been assigned to coordinate the core apprenticeship scheme through its Department of Secondary Technical and Vocational Education and Training.

    At national level, the Apprenticeship Board (Συμβούλιο Μαθητείας) supports the Ministry of Education in designing and implementing the NMA (see more in Q38 and Q39).

    Q14. What is the role of chambers, employers’ and employees’ representatives, sectoral councils (if existent), in shaping apprenticeship content, as per regulation?
    Role in designing qualification
    Role in designing curricula
    No role

    The Apprenticeship Board has a role in both advising/consulting and in decision making for matters such as qualifications, curricula, law and regulations. It is currently involved in updating and creating a new legal framework.

    It consists of members from chambers, employers’ and employees’ representatives and governmental staff representing the following Ministries: 1. Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth, 2. Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance, 3. Ministry of Energy, Commerce and Industry, 4. Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works.

    Q15. What is the role of chambers, employers’ and employees’ representatives in implementing the apprenticeship scheme, as per regulation?
    Role in final assessment of apprentices
    Role in accreditation of companies
    Role in monitoring of the in-company training
    No role

    The members of the national-level Apprenticeship Board have the authority to oversee and act upon implementation of apprenticeships in Cyprus, according to the body they represent. This can vary, and it can include sharing/disseminating information, networking, setting up partnerships, consulting on apprentices’ qualifications, providing company incentives and any other matters which arise from the annual meetings.

    5Training at the workplace

    Q17. Is it compulsory to alternate training between two learning venues (school and company)?

    The two learning venues alternate during the week, with two days allocated to school-based training (Modern Greek, Mathematics, English, IT and the relevant classes according to the apprentices’ specialisation) and three days allocated to in-company training.

    Q18. Is the in-company training defined as minimum share of the apprenticeship scheme duration?
    Yes, equivalent or more than 50% of scheme duration
    Yes, between 20% and 50% of the scheme duration
    Yes, less than 20% of the scheme duration
    No, no minimum share is compulsory
    Q19. Is there a distinction between the training time and working time for the period spent at workplace, as per regulation?
    Yes, the legal framework makes this distinction
    No, the legal framework makes no distinction

    There is no distinction, the legal framework is customised accordingly between the apprentice and the employer.

    Q20. What is the form of alternation of training between workplace (company) and school?
    Every week includes both venues
    One or more weeks (less than 1 month) spent at school followed by one or more weeks at workplace
    One or more months (less than 1 year) spent at school followed by one or more months at workplace
    A longer period (1-2 years) spent at school followed by a longer period spent training at workplace
    Various – depends on agreements between the school and the company
    Not specified
    Q22. Is the company hosting apprentices required by regulation to follow a training plan at the workplace?
    Yes, the training plan is based on the national/sectoral requirements for the in-company training
    Yes, the training plan is agreed at the level of school and company
    No, is not required formally

    School-based VET curricula are used as a basis for the apprenticeship scheme and are adapted at school level to meet its particular needs and conditions.

    Q23. What are the requirements on companies to provide placements, as per regulation?
    Have to provide a suitable learning environment
    Have to provide a mentor / tutor / trainer
    Q25. Are there any sanctions on companies that do not provide training to apprentices at the workplace?

    Sanctions are not foreseen as such, but the Apprenticeship Board (see Q9 and below) may issue additional regulations to address issues that may arise.

    6Contract and compensation

    Q26. What is the status of the learner?
    Only student
    Only employee
    Apprentice is a specific status (student and employee combined)
    Q27. Is there any written arrangement between the learner and company, required as per regulation?

    The contractual arrangement is signed between the learner, his/her parent or guardian, and the employer. This is required by the 1966 legislation governing apprenticeships.

    The contract specifies the salary, maximum working hours for apprentices, and that the employer is subject to inspections and responsible to follow the legislation for health and safety in the workplace in relation to the apprentices.

    Q28. What is the nature of the written arrangement?
    Apprenticeships are an ordinary employment contract
    Apprenticeships are a specific type of contract
    Another type of formal agreement, not a contract
    Q29. Where is the contract or the formal agreement registered?
    At the school
    At the Ministry of employment
    At the chambers
    At the Ministry of education

    The contract is registered either at school with the Apprenticeship Officer or the workplace.

    Q30. Do apprentices receive a wage or allowance?
    Yes, all apprentices receive a wage (taxable income)
    Yes, all apprentices receive an allowance (not a form of taxable income)
    Apprentices receive a reimbursement of expenses
    No form of compensation is foreseen by law

     All apprentices receive wages from their employer.

    Q31. How is the apprentice wage (taxable income) set?
    By law (applying for all)
    By cross-sectoral collective agreements at national or local level
    By sectoral collective agreements at national or local level
    By firm-level collective agreements or individual agreements between apprentice and company

    Individual agreements between apprentice and company. Wage agreed is stated on the contract signed by all parties.

    7Financing and incentives

    Q32. Who covers the cost of the wage or allowance of the apprentice?

     Employers pay the apprenticeship wages.

    Q33. What are the sources of financing of the direct costs for the in-company training part of the apprenticeship scheme?
    Single employers hosting apprentices
    Sectoral funds

    The in-company training is covered financially by employers of the apprentices, based on work-based practical training three days a week.

    Q34. Are there any financial incentives for companies that offer apprenticeship places?
    Yes, subsidies
    Yes, tax deductions
    Yes, other incentives
    No financial incentives
    Q35. Does the wage or allowance of the apprentice cover both the time spent at school and in the company?
    No, it covers only the time spent in the company
    Q36. Are there any incentives for learners?
    Yes, grants paid to learners to top up their remuneration
    Yes, grants paid to learners related to other costs (travel, food etc.)
    Yes, recognition of prior learning / fast-track opportunities
    Yes, other types of incentives