Bern, 23.06.2017 - On 23 June, Federal Councillor Johann Schneider-Ammann showed the King of the Belgians and his ministerial delegation how Switzerland’s vocational education system works in practice. The programme included a visit to ABB Turbo Systems and the libs industrial apprenticeship training centre in Baden (AG). In addition to discussions with company representatives, trainers and apprentices, there was also a round table on Switzerland’s system of vocational education and training. President Doris Leuthard received King Philippe for an official visit in Bern on Thursday.
The King was taken to two training facilities in Baden where he was shown how vocational education and training in Switzerland works in practice. The first visit was to ABB Turbo Systems where Peter Voser, chairman of ABB, and Remo Lütolf, chairman of the board of ABB Switzerland, gave the guests a tour of the production plant. At two points on the production line ABB apprentices demonstrated their tasks and presented one of the company’s robots.
Afterwards the King of the Belgians and Federal Councillor Schneider-Ammann visited the libs industrial apprenticeship training centre. First and second-year apprentices answered the King’s questions and proudly explained the stages of their training. The visit concluded with a round table discussion with the delegations.
Vocational education and training as a Swiss success story
Switzerland’s vocational education and training system is an internationally recognised success story: two-thirds of young people in Switzerland opt to pursue a vocational education and training programme and acquire solid occupational skills as a result. Students can choose from around 230 different occupations. Switzerland has one of the lowest rates of youth unemployment when compared across Europe. The system also provides a high degree of permeability which allows people to pursue continuing education and training and even change occupations in the course of the career. Vocational education and training is subject to constant change - the current focus is on the challenges and opportunities presented by digital transformation.
High-ranking Belgian delegation
The King is being accompanied on his visit to Switzerland by a high-ranking delegation. Its members include the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Employment, Economy and Consumer Affairs, Kris Peeters, European Commissioner Marianne Thyssen, responsible for employment, social affairs, qualifications and labour mobility, as well as a number of further ministers from the Belgian regions and communities responsible for education, economic affairs and employment.
President Doris Leuthard received Belgium’s head of state on Thursday, 22 June. The discussions covered bilateral relations, the current political situation in Europe and youth policy. The official dinner was also attended by the Vice President of the Federal Council, Alain Berset.