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Apprenticeship or school? What comes after compulsory schooling?

Once they have completed their compulsory schooling, young people progress to upper-secondary level. They then have to decide whether to do an apprenticeship or attend a school providing general education such as a baccalaureate school or an upper-secondary specialised school.

Vocational Education and Training (VET) Programmes/Apprenticeships

The majority of young people commence vocational education and training (VET) following lower-secondary level schooling. They do their apprenticeship either in a training company with one or two days’ a week at school, or full-time at school. Most apprenticeships are based on the dual system, with practical skills obtained in a training company and theory obtained at a VET school, and are completed at the age of 18 or 19.

Directory of recognised occupations

Federal Vocational Baccalaureate

After completing a three or four-year vocational education and training programme, you can obtain a Federal Vocational Baccalaureate. This allows you to study at a university of applied sciences without having to take an entrance exam.

General education programmes

Students attending an upper-secondary baccalaureate or specialised school receive a general education which prepares them for higher education (tertiary-level).

Academic baccalaureate

Specialised schools