There are two sides to the apprenticeship market: host companies that offer apprenticeship positions (supply side) and young people looking for apprenticeship positions (demand side). The state acts as an intermediary: it ensures the best possible apprenticeship conditions for host companies; it encourages the creation of apprenticeship positions; and it provides guidance counselling services to young people to help them choose a career.
Various factors influence supply and demand on the apprenticeship market.
Availability of apprenticeship positions
Host companies have a vested interest in offering young people training in promising occupations. In doing so, host companies ensure a steady stream of highly qualified specialists on the labour market. At the same time, the availability of apprenticeship positions closely matches the long-term needs of the labour market. Structural changes in industry have a definite impact on the apprenticeship market. Economic fluctuations also have an influence on the market since dual-track VET programmes (i.e. combination of study at a vocational school and practical training at a host company) can only accept VET students if there are enough orders for apprentices.
Demand for apprenticeships
The choice of career is an important decision for young people. However, while striving to realise their own wishes and dreams, they still have to consider the current availability of apprenticeships. A further factor is the number of young people of a certain age looking for an apprenticeship position at any one time.
Apprenticeship marketing – a cantonal task
Cantonal VET offices are familiar with the situation in their region and cultivate close contacts with local companies. Thus, they are in the best possible position to assess the number of apprenticeship positions available, to promptly implement suitable measures and to offer young people individual assistance with finding an apprenticeship. At times when there are only a few apprenticeships available, the Confederation is able to release additional funding to create them.
Main apprenticeship marketing measures
Career information and advice
List of available apprenticeship positions
Creation of vocational training associations
Temporary state measures (mainly bridge-year courses)
Use of VET promotion agents
Placement and individual mentoring of young people without apprenticeships