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Deiss demands support for apprenticeships

This year up to 4,000 school leavers will be unable to find an apprenticeship Keystone

Economics Minister Joseph Deiss has called for more government support for the creation of apprenticeship placements.

Deiss announced a list of measures on Thursday at the inaugural national apprenticeship conference in Lucerne.

He said participants at the conference all agreed that although the number of apprenticeships has never been as high as it is at present, further measures are required – especially regarding the integration of less academic students into vocational education.

As a first measure Deiss said he would demand that the Swiss government change the regulations regarding vocational education.

He said the government innovation fund should meet 100 per cent of the costs of projects that promoted work placements instead of the current 60 per cent.

Deiss said SFr40-50 million ($30-38 million) is available from this fund every year.

Cantonal role

The economics minister also wants to increase the number of places that support apprenticeships where they are needed – in the cantons and, to begin with, in the large agglomerations.

The creation of cantonal apprenticeship conferences was welcomed.

But earlier this year the federal office in charge of professional training dismissed the perceived dearth of opportunities.

“There are enough apprenticeships but they are not in the areas that are in demand. For example, there is a surplus of vacancies in the construction, butcher and catering trades,” spokesman Jacques Filippi told swissinfo.

He said the federal authorities were doing all they could to encourage the provision of training opportunities. But he added that it was up to the cantons to create extra places.

swissinfo with agencies

Every year in Switzerland 70,000-80,000 young people who have finished their studies look for an apprenticeship.

In 2005 up to 4,000 could not find a suitable placement.

Economics Minister Joseph Deiss has said the government should subsidise cantonal projects that would result in the creation of new placements.

These would be funded by a government innovation fund which contains SFr40-50 million.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR