Vocational training in Switzerland provides young people with an introduction to working and professional life and ensures the supply of future generations of specialist personnel. It is coordinated with the requirements of the labour market and is an integral part of the education system.
In terms of the Vocational Training Act dated 1 January 2004, basic vocational training enables broad-based vocational development to be pursued up to University of Applied Science or university level.
Training with a practical focus in 15 different occupations is available at ETH Zurich. Some 170 apprentices and trainees are currently undergoing training in various institutes, departments and administrative units. Apprentices receive professional basic training in ETH’s own biology, chemistry and electronics training laboratories.
Most of those entering basic training are between 16 and 18 years of age, and at least one-fifth of them are between 19 and 25 years old. Vocational training programmes last 3 or 4 years, depending on the occupation, and are recognised by the Swiss federal government. Vocational training programmes start and end in mid-August. ETH continually tries to increase the number of training positions. Its aim is to enable apprenticeship training at ETH for as many young people as possible.