Over the past few years, the Confederation, the cantons and professional organisa-tions have jointly developed the ‘VPET 2030’ strategic process. Rémy Hübschi, head of SERI’s Vocational, Professional and Continuing Education Division, shares his in-sights on the state of progress. He is convinced that VPET 2030 offers a solid basis to further develop Switzerland’s VPET system thanks to the collective efforts of the three main partners.
Identifying scope for action – making the most of opportunities
How do things currently stand with Switzerland’s VPET system?
Rémy Hübschi: Without false modesty, it is fair to say that our system of vocational and pro-fessional education and training is well positioned. The Confederation, the cantons and pro-fessional organisations work together in a well-oiled system. Young people are still very inter-ested in pursuing vocational education and training. In recent years, we have also taken vari-ous steps to modernise the VPET system, e.g. reinforcing the position of federal professional examinations. What seems important to me is that we do not rest on our laurels. The Federal Vocational and Professional Education and Training Act (VPETA) is designed to serve as an open framework which offers a broad scope, so it’s a matter of making of the most of that.
What developments should we pay attention to in particular?
We jointly identified the key challenges in the ‘VPET 2030’ strategic process. The resulting mission statement and corresponding roadmaps show the way. I personally feel that we need to make the most of the potential offered by digitalisation, and this endeavour has given rise to the ‘digitalin-form.swiss’ funding initiative. Our aim here is to go beyond our previous funding practice to make projects visible, bring stakeholders together and support projects that further the aims of the EAER/SERI action plan on ‘Digitalisation within the ERI sector’.
We also need to make sure that VPET retains its appeal; for young people that means offer-ing modern VET programmes and ensuring the greatest possible level of permeability across the education system as a whole so that we can continue to train skilled professionals and managers. We are also working to optimise VET programmes for adults. This includes as-pects such as encouraging the acquisition of basic skills at the workplace, enhancing the ap-peal of VET programmes and the availability of tertiary-level professional education for hold-ers of vocational qualifications.
How much progress has been made in the strategic process ‘VPET 2030’?
After devoting the past several years to laying the foundations, we began implementing action steps last summer. If you look at the list of projects, you can see that a lot is going on. The projects range from the cyclical review of core syllabuses used to train vocational school teachers and workplace trainers to clarifying governance and assessing cash flows. It is im-portant to me that ‘VPET 2030’ be perceived as a joint initiative of the Confederation, the can-tons and professional organisations. This requires the will and commitment of all stakeholders involved. The VET 2030 Steering Committee therefore invites all VPET stakeholders to take part in the process.
What will the Swiss VPET system be like in 2030?
Even in 2030 the overarching aim will be to ensure that holders of vocational and professional qualifications are equipped with the knowledge, skills and know-how needed on the labour market. Likewise, businesses will always be eager to draw on a pool of skilled professionals and managers. Many countries envy the partnership that exists in Switzerland between the Confederation, the cantons and the professional organisations. If we maintain these three constants in all steps of the reform process, then we are on the right track.
Rémy Hübschi, SERI
Deputy Director, Head of Vocational, Professional and Continuing Education Division