Bridging Education and Employment: Insights from Zürich on Youth Apprenticeship

Written by Kate Pangallo, Senior Director, Talent & Strategic Partnerships 

Across the globe, youth apprenticeship programs stand out as a solution for bridging the gap between education and workforce. In Indiana, the critical factor in scaling these programs successfully lies in robust employer engagement. Recently, I had the opportunity to visit Zürich with members of the Industry Committee for CEMETS iLab Indiana, delving into the infrastructure that underpins apprenticeships as a leading pathway for youth. Despite initial skepticism regarding Indiana's interest in the Swiss model, many were surprised to discover the striking similarities between our state and Switzerland — from population size to GDP and industries. However, the pivotal difference lies in our educational system's approach to preparing a skilled workforce for the demands of our industries and employers. 

During our visit, one resounding message echoed from the leaders at UBS Bank and Zurich Insurance: in Switzerland, the relationship between education and industry aims not at higher education but at employment. Their system is meticulously crafted to equip students with the skills needed for immediate employment through a permeable system. In contrast, our educational system in Indiana, like many states, primarily prepares students for college but not for the workplace. With industry leadership and engagement, we can bridge the gap between classroom learning, ensuring it aligns directly with industry skill demands excelling youth in their careers. 

We want to hear from you! Your insights are crucial in shaping how we engage employers in scaling youth apprenticeship in Indiana. Take a few moments to participate in the CEMETS iLab Indiana survey, designed to gather valuable input from employers that will directly contribute to our efforts. The survey closes on March 31, so act now to ensure your voice is heard! 

To access the survey and share your insights, click here or contact Kate Pangallo at [email protected] for more information. Thank you in advance for your contribution and commitment to building a stronger workforce in Indiana. 

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