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Switzerlands Youth Are Employable Due To Apprenticeships

21 Sep 2013


Immigration News

State of the art insurance agencies and factories, small-scale and large-scale companies, retail stores, banks and even hospitals take-up apprentices who work on complex machines, greet customers, advise investors and even carry out basic medical procedures, in Switzerland. Basically, the apprentices do almost everything an entry-level employee does. However, only under the guidance of credentialed mentors from the company.

70% of Switzerland’s youth spend their week moving between school, a sector organization and a workplace. They are paid a monthly starting wage of around $800, which can rise to around $1,000 by the time they reach their third year. According to the Stefan Wolter’s studies, to an employer, these apprentices’ work returns their cost of training and a little more. Stefan Wolter is a Professor of Economics at the University of Bern and Managing Director of the Swiss Coordination Centre for Research in Education.

The unemployment rate of youth in the country is little more than 3%. This is calculated with the Swiss quarterly data, and the percentage is among the lowest in the 34 OECD countries.

How does the Swiss upper secondary education system work?

The majority of youth enter the vocational upper secondary system at 16. In most of the developed nations, compulsory school ends at age 15, and students either enter vocational or academic programs. The Vocational Programs are like a combo of community college and high school.

The success of the Swiss system depends on 3 main components:

The 1st component is the workplace where students sign a contract with an employer at age 15 or 16.

The 2nd component is a Sectoral Organization. The banking sector’s organization is the CYP (Center for Young Professionals), where students receive some technical training and industry orientation which is funded by the banking industry of Switzerland.

The 3rd component is the school, where youngsters between ages 16 to 19 usually study mathematics, languages, history, law and ethics.

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