“I would most like to invent the first flying car.”

Manar Benslama, budding automation engineer, Zurich, Switzerland

We have the best apprenticeship system in the world.

“Attending one of the largest vocational training centers in Switzerland, working with many like-minded people, and qualifying as an automation engineer – this opens the way for me to pursue a versatile career. And who knows? Maybe I will one day realize my dream of the flying car.”

In a study by the World Economic Forum, Switzerland has managed to occupy the top spot in a ranking of the world’s most competitive countries for the eighth time in a row. That may have something to do with the liberal labor legislation, the moderate taxation, and the political stability. However, one thing should not be overlooked: “We have the best apprenticeship system in the world,” Manar Benslama is convinced.

An optimum start to working life.

In most countries, you are only welcomed into the labor market if you have attended a Gymnasium and college and can produce a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Without this, entering the labor market will prove to be difficult. “Fortunately, the situation is different here – alongside the academic track, there is also the practically oriented apprenticeship,” explains Manar Benslama. This sees apprentices working in a business daily and attending a vocational school twice a week. This enables theoretical knowledge to be combined with practical experience. 

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Swiss vocational training is number one in the world. I benefit from it every day as an automation engineer.

Manar Benslama, budding automation engineer, Zurich, Switzerland

Automation engineer first and then maybe a bachelor’s degree in electronics.

“Even as a child, I took appliances apart again and again to understand how the individual components worked. I therefore knew at an early stage that I would become an automation engineer,” says Manar Benslama. The job is in great demand because more and more areas of life and work are being automated.

“My job is very versatile and you are always moving – which comes naturally to me as a soccer player.” Manar very deliberately applied to join Siemens because she heard the company operates one of the largest apprenticeship centers in Switzerland, because there are many exciting industry-wide courses during the apprenticeship, because the work is highly varied, and because you work together with a lot of other apprentices from the very beginning.

All ways open for a career.

“The first thing I want to do is complete my apprenticeship successfully and then graduate from a vocational college of further training. Then we will see!” Maybe she will then immediately start studying for a bachelor’s degree in electronics – after all, she would like to be the first person to develop the first marketable flying car.

In Switzerland, almost two thirds of young people choose vocational education. Not only because, as the saying goes, a trade in hand finds gold in every land but also because there are significant career opportunities, for example via the Berufsmatura (advanced vocational certificate) and attending a university of applied sciences.