Cyprus has started establishing a competence-based system of vocational qualifications, based on its Standards of Vocational Qualifications (SVQs). The System is meant to assess and certify the competence of a person to carry out a specific job on the basis of the SVQ in real or simulated working conditions.
During the first phase of implementation (2006-2009) 5 SVQs at level 2 were developed in the 3 priority sectors of Hotel and Catering (Waiter, Cook, Receptionist), Construction (Builder) and Retail Trade (Salesperson). Only employees are eligible. So far a total of 203 certificates of vocational qualifications have been awarded, mainly to salespersons.
The second phase, which is co-financed by the European Social Fund and covers the period 2007- 2013, envisages the development of 72 new SVQs at various levels. Opportunities are expected to be provided to 6.000 candidates not just employees but unemployed and inactive persons as well. The standards will cover a broader range of occupations in Retail and Wholesale Trade, Automotive Repairs, Hotel and Catering, Construction, Manufacturing, Systems and Networks of Communication/ Computers, and Hairdressing as well as in the qualification of Instructor of Vocational Training.
Studies are planned to examine how the system will incorporate the ranches/specialisations of technical and vocational schools, the apprenticeship system and other initial vocational training programmes, as well as the validation/accreditation of formal, informal and non-formal learning.
The establishment and operation of the System of Vocational Qualifications is expected to improve productivity, reinforce lifelong learning and make the rest of Europe more accessible to Cypriot workers.
Human Resource Development Authority of Cyprus, G. Siekkeris: email@example.com