15 November 2022, 09:30 am–01:00 pm
Casino Bern, Casinopl. 1, 3011 Bern

OBS SFUVET's 4th national conference

VET is faced with the permanent challenge of keeping pace with technological, economic and social change. This conference looks at the development of the Swiss VET system over recent years and how its development differs from that of other European countries. We discuss the benefits of pursuing this separate path and the challenges Switzerland faces in the future.

The picture shows two young people standing in front of a signpost. On the signpost are the words "general education" and "vocational training".
Image montage SFUVET

Vocational education and training (VET) internationally and in Switzerland – tensions, challenges, developments and potential

At this conference, the Swiss Observatory for Vocational Education and Training (OBS SFUVET) will present new research results on the development of Swiss VET in the national and international context. On this occasion OBS SFUVET’s latest trend report will be published.

Presentations will cover topics such as the development of Swiss VET over recent years, varying developments between cantons and occupations and the position of the Swiss VET system by international comparison.

At a podium event, representatives from the fields of VET practice, policy and research will discuss the challenges and potential of the dual-track system and what Switzerland can learn from current international developments.

Programme 15.11.2022
9.00 a.m. 

Arrival, registration

9.30 a.m.


Welcome address and opening of conference

Barbara Fontanellaz, Director General of SFUVET
Marina Villa, conference host

9.40 a.m.


Keynote 1: OBS SFUVET trend report

Irene Kriesi, Co-Head of research area ‘Strategic planning of VET/PET sector
Lorenzo Bonoli, Head of ‘MSc in Vocational Education and Training' programme and Senior Researcher

Followed by questions from the audience

10.40 a.m.



11.15 a.m.


Keynote 2: International differences

Jörg Markowitsch, 3s Research & Consulting

Followed by questions from the audience

12.00 p.m. 

Podium: Challenges and potential in the dual system – what can Switzerland learn from current (inter)national developments? 

Serge Frech, Managing director of ICT-Berufsbildung Schweiz
Annette Grünig,
Vice-President on the Board of OdASanté
Irene Kriesi, Co-Head of research area ‘Strategic planning of VET/PET sector
Gilles Miserez, Director General of the Careers Guidance, Vocational and Continuing Education and Training Service of the canton of Geneva

Niklaus Schatzmann, Head of the Upper-Secondary Education and Vocational Education and Training Office at the Zurich Directorate of Education

12.45 p.m. 

Conclusion and outlook 

Barbara Fontanellaz, Director General of SFUVET

1.00 p.m. End of event and reception
Speakers and panelists
Barbara Fontanellaz

Dr. Barbara Fontanellaz is Director General of the Swiss Federal University for Vocational Education and Training SFUVET. She took office on 1 March 2020. Having obtained her PhD from the University of Zurich in 2008, she was Head of the Department of Social Work of the University of Applied Sciences of St. Gallen from 2014 until early 2020. Barbara Fontanellaz was a member of the Foundation Council of the Swiss National Science Foundation and chaired the Swiss Specialised Conference on Social Work of the Swiss Universities of Applied Sciences until 2020.

Marina Villa

Marina Villa is a presenter, media trainer, performance coach and lecturer. She has run her own communications agency since 2003. Previously, she worked for 20 years as a journalist and presenter at Radio DRS (talk show Focus) and SF (10vor10, Rundschau) as well as Radio 24. As a former press officer for Expo.02, she also understands the professional realities faced by media and PR executives. She teaches media relations and performance coaching at several universities of applied sciences.

Foto Irene Kriesi

Prof. Dr. Irene Kriesi holds a PhD in sociology and is co-head of the research area 'Strategic planning of VET/PET sector' at the Swiss Federal University for Vocational Education and Training SFUVET. Her main areas of interest include educational and career pathways and how these are structurally embedded in the education system. Her work also examines training conditions in VET programmes and mechanisms that create social inequality within the education system.

Lorenzo Bonoli

Prof. Dr. Lorenzo Bonoli holds a PhD in philosophy. He is a senior researcher in the research field 'Institutional context of Swiss dual-track VET'. Since 2020, he has directed the study programme 'Master of Science in Vocational Education and Training' at the Swiss Federal University for Vocational Education and Training SFUVET. His main areas of interest are the history and development of VET in Switzerland and VET applied in an international context.

Jörg Markowitsch

DI Dr. Jörg Markowitsch studied mathematics and philosophy in Vienna. He is co-founder of 3s Research & Consulting, has been researching VET and adult education for 25 years. He also advises policymakers at both national and EU level. With its own unique expertise, research activities and large international network, 3s Research & Consulting provides information needed by public authorities, universities and international organisations, such as the European Commission, Cedefop or the ILO, to make scientifically sound decisions.

Serge Frech

Serge Frech has been managing director of ICT-Berufsbildung Schweiz since 2018. Previously, he held various managerial positions in the field of education, most recently for the building engineering association Suissetec, where he headed the Training Department and served as a member of the Executive Board. Prior to this, he was deputy head of training for the Armed Forces Intelligence Service. Alongside his work in these areas, Serge Frech is also a guest lecturer at the Institute of Applied Psychology at the Zürcher Fachhochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften (ZHAW).

Annette Grünig

Annette Grünig works as a project manager at the General Secretariat of the Swiss Conference of the Cantonal Ministers of Public Health (GDK). Annette Grünig has been working for many years organising training and assessing the needs of healthcare professionals. She also worked as co-project manager and co-author for the 2021 report on the healthcare worker situation in Switzerland. She represents the GDK as Vice-President on the Board of OdASanté.

Gilles Miserez

Gilles Miserez has been Director General of the Canton of Geneva's Office for Career Guidance, Vocational and Continuing Education since 2018. He holds two vocational qualifications in agriculture and horticulture as well as a UAS degree in engineering. In addition to his professional activities, he has completed several university study programmes in environmental science, geography and management. His professional experience includes positions as a UAS lecturer and as director of a vocational education and training centre.

Niklaus Schatzmann

Dr. Niklaus Schatzmann has headed the Office of Upper-Secondary Education Training, which is part of the Canton of Zurich's Department of Education, since September 2017. He holds a PhD in history and German literature. After working in publishing for several years, he obtained his credentials to teach at Swiss baccalaureate schools and has taught at various upper-secondary schools. From 2007 to 2017, he headed the Freudenberg Cantonal School as headmaster and was involved in several cantonal and national committees. Niklaus Schatzmann is Vice-President of the Board of the Swiss Conference of VET Offices (SBBK).