Among the visitors were 23,443 secondary school students from 9 cantons who visited the fair accompanied by their teachers. Compared to the last time the fair was held in 2021, this is 9 percent more students. These figures confirm the great need for the Berufsmesse Zürich, which facilitates direct exchange between professional associations and training companies and interested young people.
Building bridges between school and work
The 17th Berufsmesse Zürich offered a unique cross-section of the Swiss education landscape. From A for “Anlagenführerin” (plant operator) to Z for “Zimmermann” (carpenter), 500 apprenticeships, basic and advanced training courses were presented on site, including new professions such as digital business developer, building IT specialist, or solar [panel] installer. In personal conversations with occupational and industry representatives as well as apprentices, the young people gained a broad insight into individual activities, occupational directions and perhaps also insights into hidden talents of their own.
Colourful, interactive accompanying programme
The short presentations on “taster apprenticeships”, starting a career from Sekundarschule B/C and on topics related to choosing a career were very well attended. The newly designed guided tours for parents with their children on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons met with great interest. The focus here was on practical apprenticeships with a federal vocational certificate. In the application campus, young people were able to create their own application documents checked, take a professional photo, or practise an interview with experts.
Vocational championships in the health professions
During the week of the fair, the talented health professionals (FaGe) and care professionals (FaBe) from the canton of Zurich and Schaffhausen tested their skills in simulated professional situations. On Saturday, the three best FaGe were chosen to represent the Canton of Zurich at the Swiss Skills Championships 2023. The three best FaBe qualify to take part in a further national competition the following year.
The opening ceremony with the Director of Education Silvia Steiner and Mathias Binswanger, Professor of Economics at the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland, marked the start of the Berufsmesse Zurich. Both showed the advantages of the dual educational system from different perspectives – and disagreed on trends towards academisation. The week of the fair was rounded off with the parents’ event on Saturday, where Niklaus Schatzmann, head of the Cantonal Office for Secondary Education and Vocational Training, underlined the advantages of vocational training and the permeability of the Swiss educational system.
The Berufsmesse Zürich is organised by the KMU- und Gewerbeverband Kanton Zürich (KGV) and MCH Messe Zürich. As the largest employers’ association in the canton of Zurich, the KGV is particularly keen on vocational training in order to permanently improve the conditions for SME apprenticeship companies, which train 80 per cent of all apprentices. The sponsors of the Berufsmesse Zürich include the Zürcher Kantonalbank, the Vocational Training Fund of the Canton of Zurich and the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation. Media partners of the Berufsmesse Zürich are Energy Zürich and the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper.
The next Berufsmesse Zürich will take place from 21 to 25 November 2023 at Messe Zürich.