Vocational education and training (VET)

Vocational education and training (VET) mainly occurs according to the dual system which combines in-company training (practical part) and a vocational school (theoretical part and general education). It can also take place in full-time school in a small number of cases. VET is completed with the Federal VET Certificate after two years or the Federal VET Diploma after three to four years.

Diplomas in basic vocational education and training by training type, change in numbers since 2000
Training type 2000 2005 2010 2015 2018
Total 60 164 59 774 68 154 69 668 69 104
  Male 32 128 33 151 37 620 37 835 37 928
  Female 28 036 26 623 30 534 31 833 31 176
50 386 52 183 59 367 63 384 62 596
  Male 28 973 29 869 33 180 34 341 34 248
  Female 21 413 22 314 26 187 29 043 28 348
2 241 2 826 2 897  2 -
  Male  913 1 221 1 450 - -
  Female 1 328 1 605 1 447  2 -
-  94 3 690 5 917 6 440
  Male -  81 1 883 3 243 3 670
  Female -  13 1 807 2 674 2 770
2 081 2 526 1 174  270 -
  Male 1 453 1 719  907  222 -
  Female  628  807  267  48 -
5 456 2 145 1 026  95  68
  Male  789  261  200  29  10
  Female 4 667 1 884  826  66  58
Source: FSO – Vocational education and training statistics (SBG-SFPI)
Data as of: April 2019

In 2018, the vocational education and training statistics  recorded almost 70 000 successfully-completed diplomas. With 90%, the greatest proportion of diplomas were federal VET diplomas. The federal VET certificates represented almost 10% of qualifications. As recently as 2000, the share of VET diplomas was about 85%; the VET certificates had not been introduced yet. Between 2000 and 2018, the other categories decreased considerably. These changes can be explained by the fact that the Federal Vocational and Professional Education and Training Act (VPETA) has been extended to include the fields of agriculture and healthcare. Furthermore, education at the upper-secondary level trade schools was henceforth completely integrated into the vocational education training, and since 2014 graduates leave with a VET diploma. The decline in the certificates of basic vocational education is due to their gradual replacement by the federal VET certificates.

Almost half of the qualifications in  vocational education and training are awarded in the fields of Business and administration (commercial occupations), Wholesale and retail sales, Building and civil engineering, Nursing and midwifery as well as Mechanics and metal trades. Although gender distribution is fairly even for the first two fields, Building and Mechanics and metal trades are clearly male-dominated, whereas Nursing is female-dominated.

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