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Mauro Dell'Ambrogio is Secretary of State for Education, research and Innovation Switzerland. In an interview, he talks about the results of the vocational training congress in Winterthur and from Success the dual Vocational Training in Switzerland. 

Mauro Dell'Ambrogio, Dr. iur. the University Zurich, held public positions from 1979 to 1999 after being admitted to the bar and notary public Features in the canton of Ticino: judge, commander of the cantonal police, general secretary for education and culture and project manager for the creation of the Università della Svizzera italiana (USI), general secretary of the USI. After four years at the head of a group of private clinics, from 2003 he was director of the University of Applied Sciences of Italian Switzerland (SUPSI). He was mayor of Giubiasco, member of the Grand Council of the Canton of Ticino and president of the Ticino electricity works. From 2008 to 2012, Mauro Dell'Ambrogio was State Secretary for Education and Research in the Federal Department of Home Affairs. He has been State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation since January 1, 2013.

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Mr. Dell 'Ambrogio, in Winterthur, has the 3 in June. International Congress on Vocational and Professional Education and Training (VPET). Why is VET at all an issue that needs to be discussed?

Vocational training faces various challenges. For example, the internationalization of education and Working world, the shortage of skilled workers or academization.

To address this, it is important to strengthen VET in an international context. The IBBK is an ideal platform to promote the benefits of dual vocational training internationally and to exchange best practices.

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In your opinion, what are the most important results of the congress?

Like 2014 and 2016, the third issue was booked out with some 500 participants from 80 countries.

The high demand shows a worldwide need for stakeholders from education, politics and Economy to network and to be able to exchange views on current topics.

Janina Kugel, Chief Human Resources Officer and Member of the Board of Management of Siemens AG, pointed out the challenges of digitization for the world of work. What skills will employees expect in the future - keyword Skills for Employability?

Business knows best which ones Competencies today and in Future are in demand in the labor market. Therefore, in Switzerland's network partnership system, the economy is responsible for defining the educational content.

The close connection between theory and practice ensures that vocational training conveys the skills that are actually in demand on the job market.

What role does VET have to play in the future after the results of your congress?

For an economy to flourish, we need an optimal mix of specialists at different levels of education at every level. For me, education policy is successful when it succeeds in attracting young people People both general and vocational ways and to bring out the respective strengths of both educational options.

Every country needs mine Opinions for high-quality universities, but at the same time excellent vocational training offers that are attractive and offer good prospects for people too Boy offer people who are more practical. In addition, education policy must adapt the educational offerings to the changing needs of the people, the economy, the labor market and the international environment.

According to the results of your congress: Is VET more a matter of personal initiative of each employee or is the involvement of employers still an important quality feature, especially in times when companies increasingly compete for good professionals?

A clear commitment from the state and business is very important. Missing that Commitment of the companies, there are no training places or at least the vocational training cannot be sustainable Effect achieve because it lacks practical relevance.

On the other hand, the state must uphold the attractiveness of VET. This is the only way to continue to motivate high-performance young people for VET and thus to ensure the growing demand for skilled labor in the economy.

Numerous international examples were presented at the congress, such as Scotland, Finland, Denmark, Singapore or India. What challenges must vocational training face in the future?

Given that himself Society, the economy and the world of work are changing ever faster, lifelong further qualification is of great importance Significance to. Globalization, the knowledge society and technological progress have enormously increased the need for education; the individual is constantly confronted with new and often higher qualification requirements.

It is our job to support this development on account by consistently providing further educational opportunities and thus enabling direct career and activity changes in the course of one's professional life.

Where do you see similarities and where are the differences to the vocational training location Switzerland and especially Winterthur?

Every education system has strengths weaknesses and also determines items that can be improved. But it's not up to me to judge them. The fact is, however, that vocational training countries are in a better position today, thanks to low youth unemployment and high competitiveness, than countries with predominantly full-school and academic educational offerings.

For example, Austria, Germany or Switzerland currently have youth unemployment rates below 10 percent. At the same time, Italy, Spain and Portugal are suffering from quotas of 40 percent and more. These figures suggest that focusing on the needs of the labor market is a strength of dual VET. It makes it possible to respond flexibly to economic, technological and social changes to which today's world of work is subject.

What are the special characteristics of Switzerland as a vocational training location, using the example of Winterthur?

Swiss VET is closely linked to the needs of the world of work. Trained is where there is a demand in the economy! It is therefore the companies and their representative associations and organizations that determine the educational content. The Confederation and the cantons provide good framework conditions. A hallmark of our vocational training is also the variety of attractive occupations as well as the career opportunities at the tertiary level (higher vocational education).

More than two thirds of all young people decide for an apprenticeship. The vocational training path and the general education path are equivalent in Switzerland, but different. This mix and the highly developed permeability of the entire Swiss education system bring concrete benefits to society and the economy: qualified specialist and Executives, low (youth) unemployment and social stability.

Examples from India or Indonesia showed at your congress how knowledge transfer from Switzerland to Indonesia can work. In which areas can Switzerland, and especially Winterthur, have a positive effect on other countries?

Switzerland does not claim to export its successful dual model worldwide. Our system has grown historically and has become so strong under very specific conditions. You can not just copy it.

We are therefore very selective in choosing countries that we feel might be a chance for VET and from which we can expect a return in terms of image enhancement. Interesting partners are those who have an active interest in closer cooperation with us.

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