Remo Kluser, Head of Vocational Training at Hilti Aktiengesellschaft, about the strengths of dual vocational training.
Remo Kluser, Hilti AG is one of the largest providers of vocational training in Liechtenstein. How many trainees does Hilti AG have?
There are currently a total of 88 trainees undergoing vocational training at Hilti's headquarters, 81 percent of whom in technical occupations. Within German-speaking Europe, Hilti currently has a total of 295 trainees.
How important is dual vocational training for Hilti AG?
The dual training approach to vocational qualifications remains very important for us. For this reason we offer not just "classic" apprenticeships for secondary school graduates, but also so-called way-up apprenticeships or the practical year for baccalaureate holders who wish to study at a university of applied science. Occupational training has always been characterised by its very practical approach. Successful apprentices are familiar not just with the company and its products, strategy and values etc., but are also sought-after specialists on the labour market on account of their practical and theoretical experience.
Do you think the dual vocational training approach has export potential, just like the world-famous red Hilti case?
Export potential certainly exists, as is demonstrated by the level of interest from countries that have introduced similar occupational training schemes, or are planning to do so. An important aspect is that lower youth unemployment exists in every country in which dual occupational training schemes have become established. For a system of this nature to function properly, it must be supported by the state. The state needs to provide the necessary vocational training schools.
What are the strengths of the dual occupational training approach?
Following an apprenticeship, young adults already have in-depth specialist know-how at their disposal. As already mentioned, this makes them sought-after junior employees. In addition, dual occupational training provides an excellent foundation for further training in a wide variety of fields. For example, successful apprentices can deepen their expertise or specialise by completing a wide variety of courses at higher specialist colleges. After completing a vocational baccalaureate, they can go on to study at a range of universities of applied science, or they can do a so-called "passerelle" an additional school year following the vocational baccalaureate to obtain a full baccalaureate in order to study at university. Vocational training opens many doors. In today's society, however, this is not always properly understood. Many people think grammar schools and the baccalaureate is the only "right" way. This is regrettable, and for this reason, within the context of our Technology Initiative, we cooperate with secondary schools in the MINT subjects, offer internships and training courses for teachers, and also make a point of inviting parents to attend our vocational information day for pupils.
Interview: Michael Benvenuti