Ticino firms to get CHF2,000 bonus for hiring apprentices

An apprentice bike mechanic goes about his work Keystone / Peter Schneider

Companies in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino – which has been hard hit by the coronavirus crisis – will get CHF2,000 ($2,100) for each new apprentice they train, the canton has said.

This content was published on July 21, 2020 - 15:24

The move comes following Swiss-wide concerns that young people were failing to find apprenticeships due to the lockdown earlier this year and the economic impact of the coronavirus.

Around two-thirds of young people take the vocational route in Switzerland. School-leavers usually sign contracts for apprenticeships that start in the first week of August.

The Ticino bonuses are part of the package of measures known as “Più duale Plus”, canton Ticino said on TuesdayExternal link. There will be CHF2,000 for each new apprenticeship training contract concluded until October 31. And it will also be paid out to companies that take on apprentices in their second, third or fourth year of training, who had to change their training companies.

The aim, the canton says, is to “confirm the commitment to training apprentices during a difficult time for the canton’s entire economy”. It wants to create 2,500 extra apprenticeships for the next school year.

Canton Ticino has been particularly hard hit by the coronavirus due to its proximity to Italy.

Task Force

In May the government set up a Task Force “Perspective professional apprenticeships 2020” following concerns that young people were finding it hard to find vocational training places.

Latest figures released by the task force show that by the end of June, 55,000 apprenticeship training contracts had been signed, which is 3% less than in June 2019

But while the situation in the German-speaking part of the country was found to be relatively stable, the number of contracts signed had dropped significantly in the French- and Italian speaking parts of the country. This is largely due to the later recruitment phase in these areas, which came during the lockdown and meant that young people were not able to actively look for apprenticeships as they would normally do (by doing taster days, going for interviews).

Cantons are also taking matters into their own hands. Earlier in July, several cantons joined together with businesses to create a last-minute apprenticeship platform to point young people to training openings. Others have extended the period for signing apprenticeship contracts to autumn and/or offered coaching and extra advice to young people looking for their first training jobs.

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