The shipping industry is one of the main pillars of the Cypriot economy, offering opportunities for a successful career. The education ministry has introduced new programmes for maritime occupations as of the school year 2019/20.
At a press conference in July 2019, the education minister stated that these programmes respond to reform measures for the development of the blue economy, a priority for both the European Union and Cyprus.
According to the shipping deputy minister, the introduction of programmes for marine occupations in the school curriculum will make it easier for young people to be employed in occupations with growing needs in the shipping labour market. The Director of the Department of Secondary Technical and Vocational Education and Training of the education ministry added that, through these programmes, emphasis will also be given to learning the English language and English terminology for the industry, as well as to providing learners with other horizontal skills needed in a multicultural work environment.
The new programmes are available in the theoretical strand at the upper secondary IVET level and lead to a school leaving certificate (απολυτήριο) (ISCED 354, CYQF/EQF level 4). Graduates are eligible for admission to universities and other tertiary institutions in Cyprus and abroad. The two occupations for which specialised courses are offered are seaman and ship mechanic. Both programmes include subjects on basic ship knowledge, health and safety on board, maritime law, English maritime terminology and shipbuilding mechanical design.
The ship mechanic programme also includes subjects such as basic mechanics, cooling systems, basic ship engines and navigation engines. The seaman programme includes subjects such as nautical maps, use of compass and electronic instruments, navigation and meteorology. Both programmes can provide access to occupations such as merchant shipping officer or to employment in the Shipping Deputy Ministry, Ports Authority and in companies of the maritime sector. The equipment required for learner practical training will be safeguarded through close collaboration between the education ministry, the Shipping Deputy Ministry and the shipping business world.
The programmes are offered at the First Technical and Vocational School of Education and Training in the city of Limassol, home of the biggest seaport of Cyprus.