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Unions raise continuous education-for-all plea

Trade unions have called for more universal access to long-term training for employees.

Continuing education should be a right for everyone, with employees given five days of paid leave a year to pursue training, the Trade Union Federation said on Monday.

Better training can address the shortage of specialist workers according to senior union officials.

A survey found that individuals who have had university training are three times more likely to have access to continuing education than someone who is not qualified.

The federation also said financial contributions of employers and the leave allowed to employees are below the international average.

The unions urged the government and cantonal authorities to pledge up to 25 per cent of the costs from 2012, doubling the current participation of SFr140 million ($124.2 million).

But the Association of Small- and Medium-sized Businesses “categorically” rejected the proposals, saying a new law was unnecessary and extra training should be regulated according to work agreements between management and employees.

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SWI swissinfo.ch - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR