Willingness of Swiss companies to provide training 1985-2005

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The project seeks to determine the willingness of Swiss companies to provide apprenticeship training within the framework of combined school/work-based VET programmes.

The study focuses on the period between 1985 and 2005. The willingness of companies to provide apprenticeship training is a heavily discussed topic at a time where there are few apprenticeships available. Against this background, the project aims to describe how the involvement of Swiss companies in apprenticeship training has changed and to explain the reasons for this. The data gathered from the FSO’s Federal Business Census of 1985, 1995, 1998, 2001 and 2005 are used for this purpose. These include the question of how many apprentices are employed by the company. The existing information contained in the Federal Business Census data regarding company characteristics such as company size, sector and region are supplemented by information from other data sources regarding demographic developments in the cohorts of young people, the proportion that have completed the Swiss Academic Baccalaureate (Maturitätszeugnis), regional educational provision and economy. In this way, the project is intended to examine whether economic and structural influences may explain the changes in the training activities of host companies or whether a trend in the willingness of companies to provide apprenticeship training can be seen which cannot be explained by the data.

The project is composed of two parts, which differ in terms of content, period analysed, time at which they were carried out and sponsors. The analysis from 1995 onwards, including the FSO’s Federal Business Census of 2005 follows a previous study which analysed the Federal Business Census from 1985 to 2001 (see Müller and Schweri 2006, Schweri and Müller 2007). Unlike the earlier project, the second study also focuses on international integration and the impact of the distance of a company from the nearest post-compulsory education institutions.


This consists of a secondary analysis of existing data sources, primarily the Federal Business Census (complete census for 1985, 1995, 1998, 2001 and 2005). These data were supplemented by data taken from the statistics regarding pupils and students gathered by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office and GDP data. 

The involvement of companies in apprenticeship training (provide apprenticeship training yes/no) and the intensity of apprenticeship training (ratio of the number of apprentices to the number of employees in the company) are analysed on a cross-sectional and longitudinal basis using various multivariate econometric methods (Probit, OLS, Fixed-Effects, Oaxaca-Blinder and Fairlie decompositions).

4.1.2007 to 31.12.2008
Project manager: 

Bundesamt für Statistik (BfS)