Federal vocational baccalaureate: education trajectories, challenges, potential

The federal vocational baccalaureate (FVB) plays an increasingly important role to satisfy demand for workers holding tertiary-level qualifications and maintain the appeal of Swiss VET programmes. In our fourth trend report, we examined which factors favour or hinder a learner’s chances of gaining a FVB and pursuing tertiary education.

Happy teens preparing for exams in university campus
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The future success of the FVB depends on whether the conditions for apprentices and host companies can be optimised. In various sub-studies, OBS SFUVET has analysed how the FVB can be consolidated in the future. This analysis considered the following questions:

  • How do individuals’ education trajectories develop before, during and after the FVB preparatory course?  How do educational choices differ between occupations or social groups?
  • How does the cost-benefit calculation of host companies change with an increasing proportion of FVB1 learners?
  • How do the FVB completion rates and admission rates to tertiary education differ between cantons? How do these rates compare with general baccalaureate rates?
  • How can the FVB1 be made more flexible and how are the various options used?

OBS SFUVET was able to identify the latest challenges affecting the FVB as well as opportunities for improvement using longitudinal data from modernised education statistics, the cost-benefit study of vocational education and training, the DAB panel study, and our own survey on flexibility models in FVB preparatory courses. The results of our trends report were then presented at the OBS symposium held on 29 October 2020. Participants at this symposium included VET stakeholders, federal and cantonal authorities, professional organisations and interested experts.

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