Federal Councillor Schneider-Ammann welcomes over 500 visitors from 80 countries to Winterthur

Bern, 07.06.2018 - On 7 June Federal Councillor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann opened the 3rd International VPET Congress in Winterthur. At the event, the theme of which was Skills for Employability and Careers, Mr Schneider-Ammann discussed educational issues with the US education minister Betsy DeVos and Singapore’s education minister Ong Ye Kung.

In his opening address to over 500 guests from 80 countries, Mr Schneider-Ammann, Head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research EAER, spoke of the global challenges faced by the world of work. Structural change and digitalisation, for example, are raising questions about how education systems - including vocational education and training - need to adapt in order to teach the skills required on the labour market.

The dual-track system of vocational and professional education and training (VPET) and its ability to adapt to market needs were also key topics discussed by Mr Schneider-Ammann with US Education Secretary DeVos and Singaporean Education Minister Ong. Both the US and Singapore are interested in dual-track VPET and discussed with their Swiss counterpart the characteristics of the Swiss model and its potential in their respective countries.

Mr Schneider-Ammann and Ms DeVos together visited the Zurich University of Applied Sciences ZHAW, where they were welcomed by Silvia Steiner, Director of Education of the Canton of Zurich and the President of the Conference of Cantonal Directors of Education EDK. The visitors talked to students about studying at a university of applied sciences, discussed the different vocational education and training systems in Switzerland and the US and expressed their appreciation of the active cooperation between their two countries.

The third International VPET Congress was organised by House of Winterthur on behalf of the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation. Like the previous congresses in 2014 and 2016, the congress helped to raise the profile of Swiss VPET at international level and to strengthen links in this field. This positioning is vital to ensuring that Swiss VPET qualifications obtain international recognition and that the Swiss VPET system is understood by other countries.

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