Frequency, causes and consequences of apprenticeship contract terminations: conference and trend report from OBS SFIVET

Bern, 9 September 2016 – What do we know about the causes and consequences of apprenticeship contract terminations? How can we keep this phenomenon to a minimum and save billions of Swiss francs in costs for society as a whole? Today, 200 experts in the VET field met in Bern to discuss these questions at the first national conference of SFIVET’s Swiss Observatory for Vocational Education and Training OBS SFIVET. At the same time, OBS SFIVET released its first trend report on the frequency, causes and consequences of apprenticeship contract terminations.

Eine Frau und ein Mann schütteln sich die Hände

The conference schedule included a presentation of the latest education statistics and research findings by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO), a presentation of OBS SFIVET, a keynote speech by Valentin Vogt, President of the Swiss Employer’s Association, and a podium discussion with affected young people. During a panel discussion, experts from political, business and education spheres explained how apprenticeship contract terminations could better be avoided in the future and what preventive measures might be taken.

In its first trend report, OBS SFIVET shows that 20-25% of all apprenticeship contracts in Switzerland are terminated prematurely; most terminations take place in the first year of training. However, apprenticeship contract terminations do not always mean that the young person has dropped out of training: 50-77% of all learners resume their training within two to three years after apprenticeship contract termination. Learners who do not resume their training incur considerable financial loss and generate significant costs for society. In contrast, the financial impact for companies is relatively minor.

The presented trend report explains that apprenticeship contract terminations are more frequent in the French-speaking region of Switzerland than in the German-speaking region. They are a particularly frequent occurrence in hairdressing, beauty care, the hotel industry, trade and construction. The causes of apprenticeship contract terminations include poor scholastic performance of learners, social conflicts at the workplace and poor training conditions at the host company and within the occupational field.

Apprenticeship contract terminations are the main reason why around 10% of all young adults in Switzerland lack upper-secondary level vocational qualifications. Sound scientific evidence on the frequency, causes and consequences of this phenomena is important to enable targeted preventive measures to be taken and to provide the young people concerned with optimal support after an apprenticeship contract has been terminated so that they may resume their training within the VET sector.

Additional information and download of the trend report:

Contact for enquiries:

Jacques Andres, Head of Communication at SFIVET, 058 458 27 12, @email