To promote the reform process, the Department of Secondary Technical and Vocational Education (STVE) of the Ministry of Education and Culture, after consultation with the members of the Apprenticeship Board, prepared a comprehensive proposal for the upgrading the apprenticeship scheme in Cyprus; this was approved by the Council of Ministers on 19 August 2015 in Decision No 79.274. The board is responsible for supervising the operation of the apprenticeship scheme and comprises representatives of the government, technical schools and employer and employee organisations.
Measures approved include increasing scheme flexibility to respond better to labour market needs, through development of approximately forty specialisations, offered according to demand in the labour market, and training of all relevant trainers, teachers and counsellors.
Easing access to formal qualifications for graduates of the scheme will also be promoted. Apprenticeship scheme programmes will be connected with formal upper secondary programmes offered by evening technical schools through the use of learning modules and ECVET units, so that graduates will be entitled to complete upper secondary education. This will be possible in one or two years instead of four, which is the usual duration of studies at evening technical schools.
The reform also provides for further promotion and strengthening of cooperation between the apprenticeship scheme and industry to develop more effective mechanisms aiming at upgrading the apprentice industrial placement programme. Various meetings have been held with representatives of employers’ organisations in pursuit of this aim.