Recent Developments

The Swiss VPET system enables young people to enter the labour market and ensures that there are enough skilled workers and managers in the future. It has a high labour market relevance and is an integral part of the education system. The Swiss Confederation, in collaboration with its partners, is able to adapt the system to take account of changing circumstances. Projects and measures encourage permeability and a labour-market oriented strategy to provide individuals with the necessary skills they actually need in the world of work. Furthermore, developments and specific projects are implemented at a national level in initial VET, including improvements to the qualification process, competence-based examination processes, matching and legal measures. Some projects and initiatives emerging in the field of VET cover a broader spectrum of policy objectives (education, development, cooperation, international relations, migration and economic).

VPET 2030 – Vision

Megatrends are influencing VPET in Switzerland. Work has been carried out by VPET partners (federal government, cantons and professional organisations), with the help of experts, to draw up the basis of a vision for VPET 2030.


Skilled Workers Initiative (SWI)

Specific projects are developed by SERI to address the shortage of qualified workers as part of the ’Skilled Workers Initiative’ launched in 2011.

Integrating adults in VET

The topic of integrating adults into VET is being analysed in a targeted project led by SERI. The project itself defines measures to find solutions for further qualification of adults, validation processes for adults and the process of catching up on specific skills as adults.
SERI is preparing new concepts for instruments designed to help finance continuing education as part of an initiative aimed at addressing the shortage of skilled workers. These continuing education programmes are aimed at workers with few qualifications and especially older workers.

Dealing with diversity

Initiatives to encourage the integration of young people in VET programmes regardless of their nationality, origin and abilities are an integral part of Swiss VET. The federal government and the cantons define tailor-made measures, so that young people arriving in Switzerland at or after the age of 16 will make their way into VET programmes. Furthermore, the federal government (SERI) supports specific projects to integrate young people from a migration background into VET programmes.

Matching supply and demand

The public-private partnership is committed to a project called Match-Prof. The overall goal of Match-Prof is to reduce the number of unfilled apprenticeship positions and young people who are part of an intermediate solution. The project helps to tackle the shortage of qualified workers by making full use of the existing potential in Switzerland. Match-Prof supports the national initiative against the lack of qualified workers.


Professional education

A strategic project at national level with a package of measures in order to enhance the financing, positioning, esteem, comparability and transparency of professional education (PE) at tertiary level. The national measures include the following aspects: increase in funding for PE examinations, degree programmes and preparatory courses, improvement of tax deductions for job-related continuing education and training on an individual level, national Qualifications Framework for VPET, certificate supplements (for VET qualifications) and diploma supplements (for PE qualifications), refined English title translation standards for PE qualifications, improved permeability between the different types of tertiary education, promotional measures to increase visibility and esteem of PE.


Federal Vocational Baccalaureate (FVB) Incentive

Learners enrolled in a 3-year or 4-year VET programmes have the option of preparing for the federal vocational baccalaureate (FVB). Those who pass the FVB examination may enrol at a University of Applied Sciences (UAS). They can also prepare for the University Aptitude Test (UAT) which is the way to enrol in universities. The national incentive aims to reinforce the FVB.


International cooperation

Switzerland's overarching strategic objectives for international cooperation in vocational and professional education and training (IC-VPET) emerge from corresponding objectives in various policy areas: education policy, development policy, foreign policy, migration policy and economic policy, which are also affected by various trends. Based on the objectives and principles of these policy areas, the Confederation has identified three overarching strategic objectives for international cooperation in vocational and professional education and training:

  • Strengthening the Swiss VPET system within an international context
  • Encouraging economic and social growth in partner countries
  • Successful positioning of Switzerland at the international level.