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Basic Training with Federal VET Certificate and Employability

Background and aims

The two-year basic vocational education with the Swiss Federal Vocational Certificate (Eidgenössisches Berufsattest, EBA) established by the new Vocational Training Act, which will replace the former elementary training in the two areas of sales and the hotel trade from the beginning of the training 2005/2006, is intended in particular to ensure an increased employability of young people, as well as improved access to on-going education – for example the transition to basic vocational training with  the Swiss Federal Proficiency Certificate (Eidgenössisches Fähigkeitszeugnis, EFZ).

Within the framework of a longitudinal investigation, the aim of the study is to pursue the vocational development of graduates of the basic vocational training with the Federal Vocational Certificate prescribed by the new Vocational Training Directives. By means of longitudinal and comparative methods, the study provides information about the occupational situation, mobility and flexibility of persons with the new two-year vocational qualification, up-to-date information about the vocational careers of under-achieving young people, and preliminary insights into new forms of education and training.


The emphasis of the study falls on the perspectives of graduates of the last round of traineeship and the first round of the two-year basic occupational training with the Federal Vocational Certificate.

At the centre of the study are the perspectives of graduates of the last stage of elementary traineeship and of the first term of the two-year basic vocational training with the Federal Vocational Certificate (issued at the end of, respectively one year after completion of education); of trainers at vocational colleges and in businesses (issued at the end of vocational education); and of employers (issued one year after the end of vocational education).


The results of this study indicate that the two-year basic training programme in the retail sales and hospitality sectors increases the graduate's permeability to further training, most particularly to the three-year training programme with Federal VET Diploma.

When compared with elementary training, available data cannot provide conclusive evaluation with regard to improved employability: around 88% of those young people with Federal VET Certificates questioned were employed or enrolled on further training programmes. They average a higher salary and exhibit greater mobility in the form of changing establishments than those with an elementary traineeship in the same occupational field. The remaining 12%, however, are (still) unemployed one year after qualification; here there is no significant statistical improvement when compared with elementary training.

Results from the beginning and during vocational training and at the immediate point of transition from vocational training to the labour market indicate that all parties gauged the two-year vocational training programme positively. That the problematic nature of youths with migration backgrounds and young trainees from the lower end of the performance spectrum was evident at the first transition (entry onto the training programme) is to be viewed critically. Additionally, particular attention must be given to the support of youths in danger of failing vocational training: Ideally, this support would stretch over both transitional stages. Good coordination and cooperation between the various accompanying measures such as case management and individual expert support is necessary here.


Kammermann, M. (2009). Well Prepared for the Labour Market? Employment Perspectives and Job Careers of Young People after a two-Year Basic Training Course with Swiss Basic Federal VET-Certificate. In F. Rauner, E. Smith, U. Hauschildt & H. Zellroth (Eds.). Innovative Apprenticeships. Promoting Successful School-to-Work Transitions. Berlin: LIT-Verlag, 127-130.



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