Orientation and professional training

Orientation professionelle - Lémania

In a recent article published in the newspaper Patrons, an organ of the employers’ center, Baptiste Müller, secretary of the AVDEP (Association vaudoise des Ecoles Privées) reports that in the Latin cantons, an insufficient proportion of young people leaving compulsory schooling pursue vocational studies. According to the Swiss Federal Statistical Office, they account for 37.9 per cent in Geneva and 46.4 per cent in the canton of Vaud, while the Swiss average is 68.3 per cent.

This is a considerable gap, and it is worthy of concern, even if the socio-cultural component of the population in the different cantons partly explains it.

On the other hand, another indicator mentioned by Baptiste Müller in the same article should give us more cause for concern: the certification rate of secondary level II at the age of 25. This certification rate includes the general path (maturité, diplôme de culture générale) and the vocational path (CFC – Certificat Fédéral de Capacité, obtained at the end of an apprenticeship, maturité professionnelle, diplôme fédéral).

While the Swiss average of 91.3% is fairly close to the joint target of 95% set by the Confederation, the cantons and labor organizations, the same is unfortunately not true in Western Switzerland. The rate is 86% in the canton of Vaud and 84.5% in the canton of Geneva.

On average, women are slightly more certified than men. Swiss and foreigners born in Switzerland are more certified than foreigners born abroad.

This situation, which leaves an average of one person in six without certified initial studies, is a real concern both for the individuals concerned and for the economy of our country.

I would like to share with you a few thoughts that come to mind.

My first thought is that this situation is not new, and I remember perfectly well that a few years ago it was often used to explain the higher unemployment rates in French-speaking Switzerland than in German-speaking Switzerland. It is certainly partly due to the prestige accorded to academic studies in France, and consequently in the French-speaking world, to the detriment of vocational studies, whereas Germany has always developed its vocational studies without any unfavorable prejudices.

However, things are slowly changing, and our Swiss system of dual studies has been of interest to many countries in recent years, France and the United States in particular. We can therefore hope that mentalities will evolve in the same direction here too.

Let me be understood, however! It is not at all a question of denigrating the general studies leading to university studies, quite the contrary! We are all aware that a country like Switzerland, which is devoid of natural resources, only owes its prosperity to the high level of studies of its population.

I can therefore only encourage those who want to study at university to undertake an academic career to become the doctors, lawyers, engineers that our society needs. What I wish to express is the idea that this « royal road » is not the only one possible and that there are many examples of high level professional success achieved as a result of a CFC in our country. All too often, however, parents are opposed to their child’s choice, preventing them from achieving success in the occupation of their choice.

The Lemania School offers three different paths to enable those who are motivated to do so to complete university studies: the Swiss Maturity, the French Baccalaureate and the International Baccalaureate. But it also offers to those who wish to join the world of work more quickly diplomas in business, secretarial management or even a CFC in business and provides them with an EPCO (Entreprise de Pratique Commerciale) called Lemania Music, thus allowing everyone to follow the path that suits them best to blossom and achieve the career of their dreams.


Philippe Du Pasquier