SWITZERLAND - The Key to Success: Vocational Training

Arno Froese

Has anyone ever wondered how come Switzerland regularly features at the top of world ranking in competitiveness and innovation?

How come unemployment, especially youth unemployment, is among the world’s lowest? How come Swiss salaries and GDP per capita are highest among industrialized nations? Don’t look further. The magic formula has a name: apprenticeship or, to use a more modern label, VET: Vocational Education Training.

People look with amazement when one tells them that seven out of 10 Swiss young people do not go to high school. That they leave school at age 15 or 16 to join a company as an apprentice. After three or four years spending 80% of their time on the job and 20% at specialized schools, they graduate in their profession, be it commercial employee, health worker, or IT technician. With the federal certificate they receive, usually when they become 19 or 20 years old, they can easily find a job and are immediately operational.

Obviously, for the system to work, both the companies and the young people must see an interest in it. And they do. Almost 40% of Swiss companies train apprentices, because they see benefits in terms of quality of their workers, but also in financial terms and, last but not least, companies with apprentices prove to be more innovative and competitive. For the apprentices, you get some handsome pocket money at a young age, but also you can count that you will have a decently paid job after graduating. And the sky is the limit for your future professional development.

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Arno's commentary

Switzerland is unique. When it comes to political democracy, it’s second to none—the best in the world. The people actually vote on real issues. The Swiss currency, the franc, is the strongest in the world. In 1994, it took 3.35 Swiss francs to buy one dollar; today, the Swiss franc is equal to the US dollar. Quite obviously, that will change, with the Swiss franc going up. Like all successful countries, the trade balance is positive: exports, $313.5 billion; imports, $264.5 billion.

This country, with a population roughly equal to Israel, is religiously divided into 36% Catholic, 24% Protestant, 5.4% Muslim. Officially, they recognize four national languages: German, French, Italian, Romansh. Switzerland is the mother country of the most respected organization in the world: The Red Cross. What becomes quite apparent is, they have an excellent vocational training program. Thus, they have produced some of the most highly qualified craftsmen. 

Switzerland is a neutral country and does not belong to the European Union. In communication and transportation, Switzerland is fiercely independent, but does follow most of the laws coming out of Brussels. 

One more thing to mention is: Switzerland’s military force is considered to be superior to that of most of the world. Even Hitler, while invading most of Europe, did not touch Switzerland.

In conclusion, at the end there is no difference whether you are born in Zimbabwe, the United States, Switzerland, Australia, or Peru. What counts is, have you placed your trust in the redemptive work of Christ? That decides one’s eternal destiny. Switzerland will perish just like any other nation, but he who is born of the Spirit of God abides forever.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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