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Table 3 Comparison of commercial VET in Germany and Switzerland.

From: Challenges of a cross-national computer-based test adaptation

  Germany Switzerland
Organization Dual system (combination of apprenticeship in a company and vocational education in a VET school)
Apprentices are employees of a company
Duration of apprenticeship: typically 3 years
Learning venues Companies, branch courses, VET schools
Specific characteristics of education Branch-specific education in the vocational education school, training company and branch courses ‘General’ commercial education for all 21 branches in commercial vocational school
Branch-specific education in the training company and branch courses
Aim of education Train apprentices in both school and at the company to work in the industrial branch
Commercial work in an industrial company
Train apprentices
 In school to become economic-civic citizens and
 In school and at the company to become commercial employees in one of the commercial branches
 Commercial work in one of the 21 commercial branches
 For M-profile: reach higher education entrance qualification (e.g., at a university of applied sciences)
Norms (Curricula) A national company’s curriculum for each commercial apprenticeship
A national single curriculum for VET school for each of more than 50 specialized commercial apprenticeships
A national company curriculum for each of 21 branches of commercial apprenticeship
A common national curriculum for VET school for all 21 branches of commercial apprenticeship
Characteristics target group of the test Age 18+
Graduates with upper-secondary level qualification
Age 15–16
Graduates of compulsory school
Relevance of commercial apprenticeship in industrial companies Fifth most-chosen commercial apprenticeship, and the most favored apprenticeship among graduates
14.7% of all commercial apprenticeships in Germany in 2015a
‘Industry’ is the fourth largest commercial branch
5% of commercial indentures
  1. aEmail information from Statistisches Bundesamt, H204-Berufsbildung, Frau Renth on 2 December 2015