29th May 2012
Best of vocational training strategy rolled out to impress Swiss visitors
Swiss educationalists are looking to Northern Ireland for best practice when it comes to vocational training.
Employment and Learning Minister, Dr Stephen Farry recently hosted a delegation from Switzerland's Federal Office to discuss the province's Skills Strategy.
Mr Farry said: "Last year I launched the Northern Ireland Skills Strategy, Success through Skills - Transforming Futures, which sets out the actions required to raise the skills of our workforce to the levels required for the future. The strategy is gaining international recognition as an exemplar of best practice and Switzerland is keen to learn from our experiences.
"Equally, we can learn from Switzerland - it is recognised as one of the world's most innovative and successful economies and much of their success is built on the bedrock of an internationally acclaimed apprenticeship system.
"In Switzerland, two thirds of all young people choose apprenticeships as the start of their careers, and a comparatively high proportion of companies, including large firms and SMEs, hire apprentices because of the demonstrable economic benefit they bring.
"The Swiss system provides the skills that employers need to enhance their business and boost the country's economy. There is much we can learn from the Swiss which will benefit the provision we offer through ApprenticeshipsNI, our flagship training initiative."
The Swiss delegation also visited South West College and Bombardier to learn more about vocational education and training being delivered through our network of further education colleges, and to see first hand the experience and training offered to apprentices in our local companies.