Following our visit for the 2022 #WeAreSwitzerland tour, on 18 April the British Swiss Chamber of Commerce (BSCC) returned to Manchester to hold a follow-up event on technical education.
The event was hosted by the Swiss company Landis+Gyr and entitled “Innovations in Technical Education – views from the UK and Switzerland”. Attendees drawn from academia, government and industry heard Prof. Dr. Rudolf Minsch from Economiesuisse and Claire Foreman, the Director of the Greater Manchester Institute of Technology, outline the Swiss and British approaches to STEM Education.
Dr. Minsch explained that the Swiss system has built-in flexibility so that, no matter whether students choose an academic or vocational route, there is always the possibility to change career paths – and this has yielded great results.
This was contrasted with the UK system by Ms Foreman who stated that, despite the recognition of the need for vocational education, the requirement for academic qualifications remains a big part of the current curriculum. However there is some change afoot, as increasing the uptake of technical skills training to create a sustainable pipeline of talent ready for the workforce is a key plank of the UK’s stated “levelling up” agenda - and a crucial precursor to enabling higher productivity and growth in key sectors of the British economy.
The Embassy of Switzerland in the UK and the BSCC are key partners who regularly hold events on a range of subjects, with the Embassy also highlighting the BSCC’s efforts to develop its presence in the north of England with events such as this as part of the wider #WeAreSwitzerland project to promote and strengthen links between Switzerland and the UK in different parts of the country.