More and more apprentice contracts terminated

Tough job: a plasterer takes a break. Keystone / Peter Klaunzer

More apprenticeship contracts are being prematurely terminated than ever before, according to Swiss media.

This content was published on December 1, 2022 minutes

Newspapers in the Tamedia group reportedExternal link on Thursday that 22.4% of apprenticeship contracts begun in 2017 were dissolved before being carried through to the end. This corresponds to some 11,810 trainees, the papers write.

They nevertheless specify that ending a contract doesn’t mean the end of the young person’s education: it can also mean simply a change of contract terms, for example moving from a two-year apprentice contract to a three-year one. For the same batch of apprentices, starting in 2017, the quit rate was a more modest 4.4% – but even this figure is rising, the papers say.

Jobs involving manual labour have the highest rate of premature ending: caulkers and plasterers are at the top of the list, at almost 50%. On the other end of the scale, specialist cooks, geomatic experts, and 3D designers have rates of only around 10%.

The most common reasons cited for dissolving a contract were wrong job choice, health reasons, or the performance of the apprentice.

Experts interviewed by the newspapers also said that many young people are increasingly keen to find a meaningful career, rather than seeing themselves as mere labour power. One youth expert also said he had seen a big increase in fears among young people over the past few years connected to the climate crisis, the conflict in Ukraine, and the Covid pandemic.

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