Matching Supply and Demand

Apprenticeship is a demand driven system. This is the reason why skills assessment and skills forecasting play a central role in all apprenticeship system to ensure system dynamism and that students who have completed apprenticeship are attractive in the labour market. The social partners play the key role at all system level in monitoring developments in the labour market to ensure a match between supply and demand. This effort may be supplemented by specific studies to analyse supply and demand in more depths undertaken by the social partners or by research organisations and consultants. The monitoring of the developments in supply and demand is also supported by data collection on such issues as the number of apprenticeship openings across regions and sectors, transition pathways to the labour market for different occupations and regions.

The VET offer is defined and updated annually in the frame of the partnership between the State and the social partners. The close cooperation of the representatives from school and the world of work in the curricular working groups elaborating the VET programmes guarantee a close match between the learning outcomes of the VET programmes and the needs of the labour market.

In Switzerland there is an apprenticeship market since young people compete for an apprenticeship contract with a company, which is the entry ticket for enrolling in a VET-programme. The State plays a mediating role assuring good framework conditions (f. ex. career guidance counselling). The private sector is highly involved in the development and provision of VET- and PE-programmes. Actually, trade/industry associations contribute substantially to the matching of supply and demand in those programmes by anticipating and assessing the skills-needs of the labour market.

These activities are supported by the monitoring of the matching of supply and demand in VET-programmes and other statistics gathered and published periodically.