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12,400 young people embark on their apprenticeship training

Some 12,400 young people in the canton are currently embarking on apprenticeship courses. The most popular course of training is that of commercial apprenticeship; of the 2,100 places initially on offer for this, 98% of them are already taken.
As cantonal parliamentarian and education expert, Ralf Margreiter, said, taking this course often enabled youngsters to go on to further attractive courses of study, hence it was an ideal launching pad for them to embark on a professional career of various kinds. “You never end up in some dead-end profession with this qualification,” he said.
As this article in teh Tages-Anzeiger newspaper went on to say, other professions have difficulty luring young people to train for them, with building jobs being amongst the most unpopular at present. As of the end of July, some 300 of all apprenticeship places for jobs in this area remained untaken.
This may not be surprising, after all, jobs in this area are very much regarded as hard work. Daniel Huwiler, president of the Zurich Master Builders’ Association, said that young men did not want to get their hands dirty these days, hence they looked more to office jobs, though career opportunities in the construction industry were actually very good. He also pointed out that, even as apprentices, bricklayers can take home as much as CHF 800 a month in their first year of training.
Huwiler himself now runs the Strabag AG company, which is currently training as many as 70 apprentices, though he admitted much had to be done through PR to show the industry in a better light to lure the young men into the jobs. Another possible reason behind fewer young men taking on jobs in the building industry is that fathers with an immigrant background who have worked hard on building sites want their sons to have an easier, more comfortable, life than they have had, and therefore may encourage them to take on office work.
Other courses which are not so popular are for those training for jobs in the catering and retail industries, as well as those associated with electricity and energy, and hairdressing. It is in this latter profession that as many as 40 % of training places remain untaken, something which career advisor Sergio Casucci was rather surprised about, bearing in mind how important beauty, looks and fashion are for young people. One reason for this is perhaps the low amount they earn, some CHF 400 while still training, with the average starting salary for newly qualified hairdressers at around CHF 3,800 a month.
One factor which is thought to put young people find off working in the catering industry are the irregular hours they have to put in, not least at weekends. It is known chefs do not mince their works when training apprentices in the heat of the kitchen, either. Nevertheless, young chefs can earn over CHF 1,000 in the first year of training.   

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