The image of VET is quite positive among the Swiss population, as most citizens themselves have started their career with an apprenticeship. Generally, apprenticeship marketing respectively promotion for apprenticeships is a cantonal task in Switzerland. Cantonal VET offices being familiar with the conditions in their regions maintain contacts with local businesses, assess the number of available apprenticeship positions and offer individual support to young people. Nevertheless, promoting the Swiss Vocational and Professional Education and Training system is a shared responsibility of private and public VET-stakeholders forming the public-private partnership.

Apprenticeship marketing

Apprenticeship marketing is a cantonal task in Switzerland since they are familiar with regional conditions and have contacts with local businesses. This facilitates taking suitable measures for assuring enough apprenticeship-positions as well as for the support to young people in their search for an apprenticeship position. Accordingly, their most important apprenticeship marketing measures are the provision of information and advice on career options especially to young learners as well as the engagement of VET promotion agents who deal directly with companies, encouraging and supporting them in creating apprenticeship positions.

Image of apprenticeships in society

VET qualifications boost job prospects on the labour market and are a solid foundation for lifelong learning. VET-programmes follow the principle of no dead end qualifications as they are fully embedded in the Swiss education system, which is characterized by a high degree of permeability. Hence, in Switzerland two-thirds of all young people opt for VET-programmes after compulsory education.  This supports a high qualification and employment rate in Switzerland. Nearly 95% of young people hold an upper-secondary level qualification. Furthermore, SMEs and large companies alike seek after holders of VET qualifications. Nevertheless, the partners of the public private partnerships take several measures for reinforcing the positive image in Switzerland.

Campaign for the VPET system

The promotion of VPET is a shared responsibility of professional organisations, the cantons and the Confederation. The overarching image campaign for the entire Swiss VPET system is called ‘VETPLUS.CH’ and is supported by these three partners. The State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) is responsible for running the VETPLUS.CH campaign. Initially launched in 2007, the latest conceptual relaunch took place in August 2015. The campaign addresses the needs for information the parent as well as of the young generation. Promoting the Slogan «Professionals advance» the campaign addresses the notion that Swiss VET-programmes never lead to dead-end qualifications but to the beginning of a professional career with many possibilities not only in PE (higher VET), but also at higher education institutions. The campaign focusses on this slogan since the systemic permeability is very important for the positive perception of VET. Concisely, the current campaign puts strengths of VPET and its relevance for the youth, the economy and the society using strong pictures and a good sense of humour. In addition, the campaign points out that VET supports inclusion as well as excellence. On communication level the campaign VETPLUS.ch is linked to other communications campaigns and projects such as for example «VET-degree and change of occupation for adults» or the event «Swiss-Skills». Promoting specific VET qualifications

Some VPET actors complement the national campaign with their own promotional activities. Promoting the attractiveness of specific VET qualifications to young people is mainly a task of the different professional organisations. They are in charge of forming the image of a profession by pointing out the positive aspects of a profession and attracting the youth to start an apprenticeship in their field/branch. Detailed and reliable information concerning the work environment and conditions are important for young people interested in beginning an apprenticeship. Campaigns should answer as many questions as possible regarding an occupation and show young people the full range of possibilities, job environment, reality of work life, as well as responsibilities/duties (Examples: Professional organisations such as OdA AgriAliForm, Swissbaker, hotelleriesuisse and GastroSuisse, Swissmem, ICT as well as large retailers like Migros). as (Example:).

Showcasing Excellence in VET at Skill-competitions

Finally yet importantly, skill competitions contribute to the positive image of VET in Switzerland and abroad as well as reinforce the positive image of particular occupations. On national and international level, Swiss holders of VET qualifications show their professional excellence. The foundation Swiss-Skills regularly supports such competitions on national level giving young professionals a platform for competing with each other. At the same time, Swiss-Skills serve as a means of selecting the excellent participants for the EuroSkills and WorldSkills competitions, where young professionals achieve to highlight their skills and compete on international level too (lately Switzerland has achieved 3rd place on national Raking at World Skills in Kazan in 2019).

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