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Old 06.04.2011, 14:00
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Question about vocational training

Does anyone have any experience of vocational training in Switzerland?

For instance:

What is the equivalent of NVQs?
Are the ECDL qualification or NVQs recognised? I found a Swiss site but it doesn't appear to be working.
Is there a process to convert UK qualifications to ones recognised in Switzerland similar to UK NARIC?
Is vocational training very common or are formal academic qualifications more usually required?

Any info., pointers or experiences would be appreciated. Thanks
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Old 06.04.2011, 14:19
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Re: Question about vocational training

I'm not an expert... but it's my understanding that the 'vocational training' is part of the Swiss education system - they call it apprenticeships.

This thread seems to have lots of useful information.

Also some professions require 'vocational training' - for example a friend of mine is hoping to be a primary school teacher - rather than going to university, as she would in the UK, she is doing a specific training course for teaching.

As for converting UK qualifications... I can, if you want, share my nightmare experience of trying to get my teaching qualifications recognised here... emphasis on the trying!

Hope that helps.

p.s. Just a thought... I think it differs from canton to canton... so you might get more detailed responses if you could indicate what area of Switzerland you wanted the information for.

Last edited by Vlh22; 06.04.2011 at 14:23. Reason: Additional thoughts
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Old 06.04.2011, 22:09
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Re: Question about vocational training

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I'm not an expert... but it's my understanding that the 'vocational training' is part of the Swiss education system - they call it apprenticeships.

This thread seems to have lots of useful information.

Also some professions require 'vocational training' - for example a friend of mine is hoping to be a primary school teacher - rather than going to university, as she would in the UK, she is doing a specific training course for teaching.

As for converting UK qualifications... I can, if you want, share my nightmare experience of trying to get my teaching qualifications recognised here... emphasis on the trying!

Hope that helps.

p.s. Just a thought... I think it differs from canton to canton... so you might get more detailed responses if you could indicate what area of Switzerland you wanted the information for.
Thanks for your reply. I had seen the thread that you linked to. That thread, and your reply, seem to confirm my thoughts that most education is through the more formal academic route.

I was thinking more of work-based learning, perhaps linked with home-study or part-time courses. I haven't any particular canton in mind. I am just trying to get a general feel for what is out there.

I have seen a couple of threads here about people struggling to get other qualifications recognised here. I can appreciate your comment 'trying'.
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Old 06.04.2011, 22:29
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Re: Question about vocational training

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Thanks for your reply. I had seen the thread that you linked to. That thread, and your reply, seem to confirm my thoughts that most education is through the more formal academic route.
I wouldn't say that... I found this graphic, which shows the vocational strand very clearly. I also have a friend (from the same family) who is severely dyslexic and he is in the vocational strand of upper secondary education, which includes work placements... and he has already found a possible apprenticeship as a gardener.

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I was thinking more of work-based learning, perhaps linked with home-study or part-time courses. I haven't any particular canton in mind. I am just trying to get a general feel for what is out there.
I am trying to get some links to open which have some information about that kind of training in Vaud... but Chrome is throwing a wobbly and is just not willing to co-operate.

If you search for an internship (stage in French, Praktikum in German, tirocinio or stage again in Italian), on jobs websites, there are jobs which come up... but I don't know how easy it is for a foreigner who hasn't gone through the system to access them.

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I have seen a couple of threads here about people struggling to get other qualifications recognised here. I can appreciate your comment 'trying'.
For me part of the problem was that I was trying to get a qualification recognised here for the first time ever - no-one had ever applied to do the role I wanted to do with the qualification I had. So we got bounced between two organisations as they tried to decide who had the responsibility of investing my equivalency request. Then there was the language issue. And then, because my field was childcare, the need for additional training to adapt my knowledge to Switzerland. Not that I got that far...
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