Apprenticeship based systems are demand and market driven, which implies that there can be challenges to match supply and demand within particular occupations, regions or in periods of economic recession. To ensure a match between supply and demand many supplementary measures are in place through guidance and through targeted marketing efforts undertaken by the social partners, the government and the schools. The marketing efforts may be organised as dedicated campaigns about the advantage of apprenticeship targeting potential apprentices, their parents and companies. Marketing campaigns may also be in the form of outreach to companies to encourage them to take on-board apprentices.
Data show that graduates of apprenticeship programmes have good employment prospects. They reach the highest figures in the transition to employment. Many apprenticeship graduates even set up their own companies. Nevertheless, marketing the benefits of the dual system is necessary and is undertaken by the Ministry of Economy and a number of other ministries, Economic Chambers, and many of the companies that offer apprenticeship training.
At any given time, a number of initiatives and campaigns are being initiated or are underway to promote the attractiveness of VET. The campaigns are initiated by both the Ministry of Education and the social Partners.
Marketing and awareness-raising campaigns for apprenticeship are run throughout the year. Single private and public organisations carry out recruiting campaigns using daily press and advertising campaigns in businesses. Chambers of commerce and industry, chambers of crafts as well as major organisations for craftsman such as German Confederation of Skilled Crafts carry out awareness-raising campaigns using social media, and they design support for its members through traditional media platforms to attract young persons to apprenticeships. The Federal government also conceived a major VET campaign ‘Vocational training – practically unbeatable’ on different media. Large events such as the World skills competition in 2013 are widely advertised in mass media. General and professional schools are cooperating with companies to introduce professions to pupils and by offering guidance and orientation.
Initiatives targeted at the promotion of VET programmes are organised by the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth in cooperation with the professional chambers and other stakeholders. The professional chambers also receive specific funds by the State for the promotion and marketing of VET.
The image of VET is quite positive in the Swiss population as most citizens themselves have been apprentices. Generally, apprenticeship marketing is a cantonal task in Switzerland. Cantonal VET offices being familiar with the conditions in their regions maintain contacts with local businesses, assess the number of available apprenticeship positions and offer individual support to young people. Nevertheless, promoting the Swiss Vocational and Professional Education and Training system is a shared responsibility in the public-private partnership.