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Vocational education and training

In Switzerland the majority of adolescents commence vocational education and training (VET) after lower-secondary level. There are VET programmes for some 250 different professions. In Switzerland, many professional qualifications are obtained in upper secondary level, while in other countries the same qualifications are obtained in tertiary level education. The Swiss system therefore differs from most foreign systems of vocational and professional education and training. VET is predominantly based on a dual system: practical training (apprenticeship) on three to four days at a training company is supplemented by theoretical classes (vocational and general educational subjects) on one to two days at the VET school. In addition, the VET students attend inter-company courses, in which they enhance vocational practical skills.

The vocational education and training (VET) can also be completed at a full-time vocational school. In the French-speaking and Italian-speaking parts of Switzerland, the proportion of full-time vocational schools is higher than in German-speaking Switzerland.

Federal Vocational Baccalaureate training

The Federal Vocational Baccalaureate (FVB) supplements VET programmes leading to the Federal VET Diploma with an extended general education programme. It  provides direct access to enrolment in universities of applied sciences. The objectives, the number of lessons and the opportunities for specialisation are set out in the Ordinance for the Federal Vocational Baccalaureate and the FVB core curriculum.