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Jobless in Switzerland need more education, say social groups

Jobless in Switzerland need more education, say social groups

Much paperwork awaits in this social services centre in Zurich. (Keystone)

Two leading Swiss organisations for social action and further education have called for big investment in training opportunities for the unemployed.

At a press conference on Monday in Bern, the Swiss Conference of Social Institutions and the Swiss Federation for Further Education called on the state to invest in a schemeexternal link that they say could send 75,000 unemployed back into the job market.

Half of the adults receiving social benefits in the country lack a professional qualification, they said, while almost 30% have difficulty with basic skills such as reading, writing and IT.

According to a survey of social services workers, offering more educational opportunities to such people could increase their chances of getting back to work by 40%.

+ Listen to jobseekers in Switzerland explain the difficulties they face

+ Read about apprenticeships, pillars of the Swiss labour market

The groups called for both ideological and concrete action.

First, they said, a “paradigm shift” is needed: rather than push jobseekers into precarious or underqualified positions, the focus should be on training and educating them so that they can get back into a more stable, long-term role.

The training needs would be based on detailed assessments of the individuals as well as their personal motivation and aspiration.

The groups called on the government to invest “substantially” in such a scheme for the period 2021-2024. They did not mention concrete figures. They also proposed that Swiss cantons extend the offer of study grants to included post-obligatory education.

swissinfo.ch and agencies/dos
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