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Swiss apprenticeships – too many places, not enough takers

© Industryviews |

Figures on unfilled apprenticeship places show the difficulty of matching supply and demand in the labour market.

This year there were 12,000 unfilled apprenticeship positions in Switzerland.

Switzerland’s apprenticeship model, which helps match workers’ skills with employer demand, is one driver of Switzerland’s low unemployment (4.9%) – 2018 ILO basis.

However, it seems to suffering from an image problem. Speaking to the newspaper NZZamSonntag, Annette Grüter, a youth career counsellor, said that following the path to university has become more popular in recent years, a trend that appears to be driven by a rise in the perceived status of a university education. A more academic path also allows students to keep their career options open for longer, something appealing to more and more young people.

At the same time this trend is creating a challenge for employers. Of the 87,000 apprenticeship places offered this year in Switzerland 75,000 have been filled, leaving employers stuck with 12,000 vacancies.

The hardest hit sectors are sales, hairdressing, baking, butchery and the hotelery.

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