Enhancing the provision of guidance and counselling services to all population groups is a policy priority, as outlined in the Lifelong Learning Strategy 2014-2020, (Ethniki Stratigiki dia Viou Mathisis) for Cyprus.

The vision of Cyprus as for Lifelong Learning (LLL) and lifelong guidance (LLG) is to define an integrated strategy which covers all kinds/types of learning - formal, non-formal and informal at all levels - from pre-school, primary, secondary general and vocational education to higher education, vocational training and adult education. This strategy aims to form a system that ensures that all individuals have the motivation, support, guidance, means, resources and time to participate in learning activities throughout their lifetime.

The National Lifelong Learning Strategy 2021-2027 aspires to provide the long-term strategic framework towards the development of a knowledge-based society where all citizens are provided with learning opportunities, to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that will facilitate their personal and social growth, professional advancement, social inclusion, resilience, and well-being.based on this vision, the strategic measures included in the new LLLS are:

  • Digital transformation: The digital transition is imperative at all levels for developed countries to strengthen their economies, meet global challenges, maximize their potential, and achieve their goals. Digital skills are considered essential for individuals to take advantage of learning opportunities, compete in the labour market, and participate in social life.
  • Green transition and sustainability: The green transition implies fundamental adjustments in all sectors, aiming for a sustainable future and a positive impact on our quality of living. This new approach requires certain knowledge, skills, and attitudes so that individuals can actively support their community for a successful transition to an ecologically viable and sustainable development.
  • Inclusion and equality: Lifelong learning opportunities should be accessible and available to all citizens so they can develop their skills, participate in society and succeed in life. Equal treatment and opportunities for lifelong learning are to be provided regardless of social class, gender, ethnicity, religion, disability, age, or sexual orientation.
  • Validation of non-formal and informal learning: Recognition, validation and accreditation of non-formal and informal learning is a key feature of a successful and effective lifelong learning policy, as it enhances the visibility and transferability of skills acquired from education and training programmes or work experience.
  • Health and wellbeing: Continuous personal and professional development allows citizens to be flexible and adaptable to their rapidly changing context, building resilience to challenges and crises. More importantly, lifelong learning also opens up prospects for socialization and social participation. The socio-emotional outcomes of learning are important factors for an increased sense of health and well-being for individuals.
  • Lifelong learning culture: Participation in lifelong learning programmes entails positive dispositions towards learning. Teachers and parents have a key role in promoting lifelong learning values to children. Similarly, public efforts can contribute to forming a lifelong learning culture by mitigating potential obstacles for learners and providing meaningful incentives to participate in education and training.

Towards the accomplishment of the CyLLLS vision, four strategic priorities were set as key objectives to achieve until 2027. These objectives are necessary for providing the long-term strategic framework of lifelong learning towards the development of a knowledge-based and inclusive society and guiding future actions:

  1. Establish the governance, monitoring, and evaluation framework that entails policy arrangements, action plans, with clear stakeholder roles, and sound financial management. Key performance indicators and criteria are also required to ensure quality assurance and facilitate ongoing continuous improvements.
  2. Decrease youth unemployment and upskill/reskill youth and the workforce through the provision of learning opportunities reflecting labour market needs and taking into consideration the digital and green transitions, with emphasis on people at risk and upskilling/reskilling the national workforce.
  3. Increase the participation of adults in lifelong learning by improving the quality of the adult education sector, providing incentives to individuals and enterprises, eliminating barriers, and enhancing outreach and communication.
  4. Enhance the professional practice of adult educators and trainers, and support educators of all education levels to develop lifelong learning skills.

The main vision of the Cyprus LLL strategy 2021 - 2027 is to create a society in which all citizens have the skills that enable them to deal with any challenges and changes that happen in their lives, moving freely between learning settings, jobs, regions and countries. The strategy envisages an equal and active participation of all members of the society, strengthening the country’s productivity, innovation, competitiveness and dynamism.

The main challenges that the LLG strategy in Cyprus are:

  1. Addressing the impact of the economic crisis and the re- skilling of the labour force
  2. Adapting the lifelong learning system to a greener economy
  3. Promoting transparency of qualifications (through formal, non-formal or informal learning) and mobility of the human resource (inter-sectoral and geographical)


The main actors for guidance and counselling in Cyprus are the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth (MESCY), the Ministry of Labour Welfare and Social Insurance (MLWSI) and the Human Resource Development Authority (HRDA).

Other important providers of guidance in Cyprus include:

  • The Cyprus Youth Board specialized in guidance for the youth until the age of 30.
  • Trade Unions and Municipalities.
  • Career Services of Universities in Cyprus

The Cyprus National Forum of Lifelong Guidance was established in March 2012 by a decision of the Council of Ministers. Its aim is to develop a specific policy in line with the 2004 and 2008 Council of Europe Resolutions on lifelong guidance and the Commission Communication (2010) "Europe 2020 - A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth". Its main objectives are:

  • Coordination and communication between guidance services
  • Establish a guidance quality assurance framework
  • Enhance citizens' access to guidance services
  • Promote research on guidance
  • Representing Cyprus in meetings and working groups at European and international level on lifelong guidance.


The Counselling and Career Education Services (CCES) of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth (MECSY) offers students of public secondary general and technical schools assistance in developing personal awareness as regards their interests, needs and skills and in making suitable decisions about their education and career. Academic and vocational guidance is provided through the CCES to the general public as well on a personal basis. The services are provided by qualified guidance counsellors, who have gone through specialised post-graduate education. The counsellors are placed in each secondary school and at the central offices of the CCES at the MECSY.

The Vocational Guidance Service of the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance is delivered through the Public Employment Service (PES). It provides information on employment prospects and opportunities or on skills-training possibilities. Furthermore, the PES provide assistance to employers, job-seekers and those in employment who wish to change jobs, through registration and placement services, provision of information on training opportunities and job vacancies. The candidate placement system performs a wide range of functions, including: registration and updating of clients history; registration of employers and vacancies; and monitoring clients interviews with employers.

The Department of Labour of the MLWSI, in accordance with the Euroguidance initiative (EUROGUIDANCE CYPRUS), provides information about private and public education and training opportunities that exist in Cyprus and in Europe in general.

The Human Resources Development Authority (HRDA) perform each year a series of surveys and studies on labour market needs and current trends. The studies are available on the its webside for further use from all interested parties ans services in the field of employment guidance.

Furthermore, the Cyprus Youth Board (Organismos Neoleas Kyprou, ONEK), in cooperation with local youth organisations has information and counselling facilities targeting the young people up to 30 years old. They provide guidance and counselling through its “Youth Information Centres” (KEPLI). The Youth Information Centres operate based on European standards and provide young people with general information and counselling services on issues that interest youngsters. The information is provided in both printed and electronic form by the personnel of these Centres, through activities and by offering free access to the internet.


The Counselling and Career Education Service of the MECSY is part of the Department of Secondary Education. The service is staffed with qualified counsellors who have gone through specialised post-graduate education either in Cyprus or abroad. In order to be employed in the service all guidance practitioners must also have their initial teacher training completed. The guidance counsellors are appointed in each upper secondary school and provide vocational guidance to students both in class sessions and on a personal basis upon request.

Since 2006, the Public Employment Services of the MLWSI are staffed with qualified Employment Counsellors with relevant professional qualifications in sociology, psychology and human resources. Since their hiring by the PES, they have been repeatedly trained by external experts, in order to provide all necessary guidance services for the PES. The Vocational Guidance Service of the Public Employment Services, PES provides information to adults and secondary-school graduates on employment prospects and opportunities or on skills-training possibilities. The PES organises its career guidance services through a network of 4 District and 12 local offices all over Cyprus.

Since 2014 Guidance courses at Master’s level are taught in Cyprus Universities. These opportunities can be found below:

  1. European University: Career Guidance and Counselling (Master’s programme) -
  2. University of Cyprus: School Counselling and Guidance (Master’s Programme) -
  3. University of Nicosia - Counselling Psychology (Master’s programme)
  4. The European University offers a Ph.D. programme in Psychologythat provides the opportunity to candidates to carry out research in a field of Psychology, choosing among Clinical, Counselling, Developmental, Neuropsychology, School and Social Psychology.


Currently there is no information about this topic


There is no ethical code concerning the guidance service provision in Cyprus. One of the objectives of the National Forum of LLG is to start negotiating with all interest parties about the subject. Until 2017 there was no official initiative on this matter.

Last updated at: April 2022