The ‘workplace trainer’ project is entering a new stage

New knowledge provides an insight into the heterogeneity of workplace trainers, their attitudes towards the training of learners and their concerns over the challenges of dual-track VET.

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The ‘Vocational education and training trainers, key persons in the professional socialisation process’ project (SNSF n°100017_153323) focuses on the day-to-day activities of the key actors in the system who are largely overlooked and understudied. The results highlight the pressures that they work under (conflicting priorities between production and training, lack of time, split shifts, lack of recognition) and identifies the tasks performed as part of their various roles. The results also underline the wide variety of statuses that coexist (training officer, apprentice training officer, operational trainer, practical training instructor). It also reveals differences related to the sector, size and training policy of the company where the training takes place. With her thesis[1], written as part of the project and presented at the University of Lausanne on 9 March 2022, Roberta Besozzi (formerly of SFUVET) explores the heterogeneity of trainers in greater depth and highlights their different attitudes towards training. The thesis proposes a typology based on two axes of analysis – satisfaction in the formative function (low or high).

Four ideal types have emerged from the analysis: the ‘entrepreneurs’, the ‘artisans’, the ‘converted and the ‘resigned’.In addition to describing the heterogeneity of the workplace trainers, this typology also provides a detailed understanding of the goals they attribute to the training of learners (training workers, training the next generation of professionals, training citizens), but also their choices concerning pedagogical support for apprentices and the strategies adopted to deal with the day-to-day pressures.

These results enable an understanding of how the changes in the world of work are affecting dual-track VET but also how the various challenges of the dual-track system are perceived based on the views of the trainers.

As well as providing better knowledge of the key actors in the system, these results also mean that a series of recommendations can be adopted. The recognition of the position, the institutional support and the provision of continuing training courses could differ depending on the profile of the trainer.


[1] Besozzi, R. (2022). Les personnes formatrices d’apprenti·e·s en entreprise: parcours professionnels et rapports à la fonction en Suisse romande (Workplace trainers: career paths and relationship with the position in French-speaking Switzerland). Lausanne: University of Lausanne (not published).