The public vocational education and training (VET) system in Cyprus is being reformed to increase its attractiveness and become capable of sufficiently addressing skills demand in changing labour market conditions.
To promote this reform, the Strategic plan for the system of technical and vocational education and training 2015-20, prepared by the department of secondary technical and vocational education (STVE) of the Ministry of Education and Culture, was approved by the Council of Ministers on 15 April 2015. Following that decision, a committee was established for upgrading STVE; this put forward a proposal with specific measures aiming at improving STVE quality and the acquisition of skills and competences required by the labour market. The proposal was approved by the Council of Ministers on 14 December 2015.
Measures include developing closer ties and improving cooperation between STVE and enterprises, to give better access to suitable modern technical equipment, educational material and infrastructure, through the practical training of STVE students in enterprises. Reform and upgrading of the placements programme is under way, aiming to increase the time STVE students spend in industry for practical training.
STVE fields of study and specialisations have been reviewed to make them more attractive and relevant to labour market needs. Various stakeholders have been involved through participation in two focus groups. Existing curricula are also being reviewed and new curricula developed in all fields of study and specialisations; these will be offered as of the school year 2016/17 together with a new STVE timetable. The reformed curricula will be based on units of learning outcomes and ECVET Points.
The above measures will be complemented with information campaigns promoting awareness of the reforms and increasing participation in STVE.