The basic vocational training concludes in Switzerland to the compulsory education or an equivalent qualification. It enables young people to enter the world of work and at the same time ensures the next generation of qualified specialists. It is labor market-related and part of the Swiss vocational training system. The equivalent in Germany is vocational training .
Over 200 professions can be learned in Switzerland, mostly in a dual system . The following professional fields are available: commercial and industrial professions, commercial professions and retail trade , health professions, professions in agriculture and forestry, social professions and design professions.
In addition to the classic training in a company, basic vocational training can also be completed in a full-time school program such as an apprenticeship workshop or commercial secondary school. Around two thirds of young people decided to take up vocational training in recent years. According to the Swiss Federal Statistical Office, 90% of young people in Switzerland have a qualification at upper secondary level ( ISCED 3; as a second education : ISCED 4).
Basic vocational training in the Swiss federal law on vocational training
According to the Swiss Federal Act on Vocational Training (BBG), basic vocational training serves to impart and acquire skills, knowledge and skills that are necessary for practicing a profession.
This particularly concerns the placement and acquisition of:
- job-specific qualifications that contribute to competent and safe professional practice
- Basic general education that supports access to the professional world and integration into society
- economic, environmental, social and cultural skills
- Resources for lifelong learning, independent judgments and decisions.
In addition to the BBG, provisions on the apprenticeship contract in the Code of Obligations and provisions on the Youth Act, which are anchored in labor law, serve as the legal basis for vocational training.
Legal basis in Switzerland
Vocational Training Act: BBG SR 412.10 Art. 15, 16, 17, 18, 25, 37, 38,39; Vocational Training Ordinance: BBV Art. 6, 10
Types of education and duration
Basic vocational training lasts 2 to 4 years and serves to impart the qualification to practice a certain occupation and offers access to higher vocational training . The final exams are regulated by the cantons, but the certificates for the qualifications are regulated at the federal level.
The following options are available to apprentices:
Two-year basic vocational training
A two-year basic education, such as B. Automobile Assistant concludes with a federal professional certificate. This enables school-weaker students to obtain a recognized qualification with an independent professional profile which, if they are suitable, also offers access to three to four years of basic education.
Three or four years of basic vocational training
The three to four year basic education, e.g. B. Polymechanic (four years old) or specialist supervision (three years old) leads to a federal certificate of proficiency (EFZ). It is used to impart the qualifications required to practice a specific profession and provides access to higher vocational training.
Federal professional diploma
In addition to the three to four-year basic education, the vocational secondary school, at which an extended general education is imparted, can be attended and thus the federal professional baccalaureate can be acquired. This enables direct access to the universities of applied sciences.
Extended or shortened basic vocational training
For particularly qualified or trained people and people with learning difficulties or disabilities, the duration of the basic vocational training can be extended or shortened appropriately.
Basic vocational training for adults
Adults can also complete basic vocational training. For some professions, such as specialist supervision, there are also special shortened training courses, in this case a two-year training course. An individual recognition process can be completed in all professions.
There is the possibility of expanding basic vocational training by means of non-formalized training and completing it with a qualification procedure.
With the way-up apprenticeship, high school graduates have the opportunity to obtain the federal certificate of proficiency in two years. The professions are offered:
The vocational school is attended two days a week. The number of way-up learners is (still) small, so it is not always possible to form separate way-up classes. In this case, the learners are divided into the regular vocational school classes.
At the moment only a few way-up apprenticeships are offered.
The way-up teaching is recognized as an internship for the university of applied sciences.
Three places of learning for basic vocational training
The regular basic vocational training consists of three learning locations:
- Company : The classic basic vocational training takes place 3 to 4 days per week in a training company (training company association, training workshops). Practical professional skills are acquired there.
- Vocational school : General and vocational school education takes place 1 to 2 days a week at a vocational school.
- Inter-company courses : Inter-company courses take place at a third learning location. They serve to acquire and impart basic skills and mostly take place in training centers of the ODAs (organizations of the world of work) or in in-house training workshops.
Ideally, the three learning locations work together in order to jointly achieve the goals of basic vocational training. The responsibility for the apprentice is regulated in the apprenticeship contract and is usually the responsibility of the company.
Financing of vocational training
The federal government, cantons, organizations from the world of work and companies all contribute to the financing of Swiss vocational training.
Public sector: The cantons make the largest contribution to vocational training with over three quarters of the costs of the public sector. In the next few years the federal government will increase its contribution to a quarter of these costs.
Organizations in the world of work : They make their contribution primarily through basic work and running their own educational institutions.
Companies : A study by the Research Center for Educational Economics (University of Bern) from 2000 showed that vocational training is worthwhile for companies overall. The gross costs of 4.8 billion francs for training apprentices contrasted with the productive performance of professional apprentices of 5.2 billion francs. In other words: the apprentices themselves finance their training in the company through their own work.
Industry-specific vocational training fund : only around a quarter of all companies provide training. According to the Vocational Training Act, non-association members can also be obliged to make solidarity contributions with the sector-specific vocational training fund.
In French-speaking Switzerland and Ticino, apprenticeships are less important than in German-speaking Switzerland. In French-speaking Switzerland (compared to German-speaking Switzerland) fewer students take the path to basic vocational training, and of these only 57% go through dual training.
On the other hand, a higher percentage of people from western Switzerland have a university degree.
As a means of combating higher (youth) unemployment in western Switzerland, the range of apprenticeships is to be expanded.
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- Federal Office for Professional Education and Technology
- Swiss Vocational Training Offices Conference
- Federal Office for statistics
- Switzerland. Directors' conference of vocational schools
- Table Ronde Vocational Training - All Professional Groups