Situation analysis – the promotion of apprenticeships in canton Zurich

Forecasts on student numbers at upper-secondary level in canton Zurich indicate that the shortage of apprenticeships will get worse over the coming years. That is why the Swiss Observatory for Vocational Education and Training OBS SFUVET is establishing – on behalf of canton Zurich’s Department of Education – an empirical basis to provide a better understanding of the opportunities for promoting apprenticeships.

Carpenter Training Female Apprentice
AdobeStock/Monkey Business

In canton Zurich, perceptions of the apprenticeship situation differ between political level, the public sphere and the actors involved. There are currently record high levels of apprenticeship relationships and vacant apprenticeships in canton Zurich but with clear sector-specific differences: While some sectors are complaining of unfilled apprenticeships and are urgently seeking young candidates, there is a shortage of training opportunities in other sectors, such as IT. Forecasts for canton Zurich indicate a sharp rise in the number of students at upper-secondary level by 2030. This means the shortage of apprenticeships is expected to get worse over the medium term and extend to other sectors.  

The analysis aims to enable the professional organisations to be provided with extensive support in future in terms of promoting apprenticeships. 


The project involves producing a scientific/systematic analysis based on three questions:  

A) How can the willingness to provide training be promoted? How can companies providing training be retained and new ones acquired? 

B) How are the professional organisations currently involved in the promotion of apprenticeships? 

C) Which areas of action can be identified for the political level, educational administration and the professional organisations and associations based on the consolidated results? 

The questions will be explored based on a review of existing research literature, the collection and evaluation of relevant documents and qualitative interviews with representatives of professional organisations, public authority staff and best-practice companies. The results will be presented as a report to determine possible areas of action.