Switzerland’s dual-track VET system is perceived as the international gold standard and Swiss VET expertise is in demand worldwide. Accordingly, SFIVET pressed ahead with its activities even in 2020. Unlike in previous years, pandemic-related restrictions prevented SFIVET from receiving foreign delegations. It nevertheless maintained an international presence. As a case in point, SFIVET signed a cooperation agreement with Movetia to expand SFIVET’s mobility activities and signed another with the TVET Academy of the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) to train VET experts. SFIVET cooperation with the International Labour Organization (ILO) also intensified: SFIVET teamed up with the ILO’s International Training Centre (ITCILO) to provide two training courses. The first was a one-week course on “Management of Vocational Training Centres” held on the ITCILO campus in Turin, Italy, which drew around 30 international participants; the second was the five-week online training course “Académie sur l’apprentissage de qualité”, which drew nearly 100 participants. In addition, an ILO contract with Burkina Faso was successfully finalised and a mandate for the development of a “Digital Toolkit for Core Skills” was obtained.
Various activities could be carried out online despite the challenging situation. Examples include initiatives with Peru (SECO project), Serbia (SDC project), Burkina Faso (SDC) and Northern Macedonia (SDC). Cooperation with the Global Apprenticeship Network (GAN) was also successfully launched in the form of a webinar for Argentina held in November.
SFIVET was also invited to take part in various online conferences to present the Swiss VPET system and explain the role played by SFIVET. This included two invitations from China, the first from the China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE) for an event held in April and the second from the Nanjing Vocational University of Industry Technology in China for an event held at the end of May.
Members of the SFIVET Board, the SFIVET Director-General and heads of SFIVET divisions also met with representatives of Swiss federal agencies SERI, SDC and SECO. Finally, SFIVET took part in various meetings of the federal government’s coordination group for international cooperation in vocational and professional education and training.
Swiss International VET Academy courses could not be held physically in 2020. They have since then been revised and will be offered in an online format in 2021.