How does this work?
This two pronged system allows students to attend vocational schools while
undertaking practical on-the-job training in a company. The end result is a
highly skilled workforce that is ready to contribute.
Apprentices (students who finish high school) are employed as a trainee in
a company. These apprentices go to school once or twice per week in a
classroom environment or online.
The company takes responsibility for the apprentices’ on-the-job training.
Vocational school is responsible for educating the apprentices by imparting
theoretical knowledge. The knowledge imparted by vocational schools will
include soft skills and trade specific skills. At the end of the two year
program, the apprentices generate a substantial amount of KASH (knowledge,
skills, attitude and habits) that allow them to be successful in the workforce.
The apprentices earn a small stipend from the company. They also earn a
certificate of completion from the vocational school once they pass the final
What are the key ingredients for the success of this program?
To successfully implement this system, the vocational schools and companies
would have to form partnerships. Industry specific associations have to partner
with their member companies to help the apprentices land jobs.
Where has this system worked?
Switzerland is a shining example of a county that has embraced the
two-pronged system and realized significant rewards. About 70 percent of young
people in Switzerland pursue apprenticeship education. As a result of this system, Switzerland has 92 percent skilled workers compared to 60 percent in Europe. Also, Switzerland's youth unemployment rate is one of the lowest in the world.