Thoroughly practical experience

A system of vocational training that is unique to Switzerland enables young people to take a course in the trade of their choice once they have completed their compulsory schooling, combining work in a company with education in a classroom. This “apprenticeship” lasts between 3 and 4 years, and the diplomas received are recognised in every European Union country. If they complete the apprenticeship with a professional diploma (maturité professionnelle), the young apprentices can then choose to enter higher education (university or college), often in a technical field. The diplomas they receive can also be supplemented by taking postgraduate courses.

More than 200 trades are covered by the vocational training system in the canton of Vaud, with streams covering the hotel and catering trade, commerce, the applied arts, construction, electrical engineering and electronics, biology, medicine and health care, information technology, mechanics, education and law.

This apprenticeship system, which has practically no equivalent in the rest of the world, gives young people the chance to obtain top class education after taking a path normally considered purely practical. These smart streams turn out a large number of students with professional experience, who are already confident, having mastered the tools of their trade and ready to apply their new skills in the companies or institutions that employ them.

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