European and national policies on Vocational Education and Training (VET) need to be informed by sound and internationally comparable statistical evidence. The VET country statistical overviews are concise, descriptive and user friendly statistical reports. For each country, they quantify and compare key aspects of VET and lifelong learning. The selection is based on the indicators' policy relevance and their importance in achieving the Europe 2020 objectives.

VET indicators for the Switzerland for the last available year
Index numbers (EU=100)

NB:   The index numbers are derived from data summarised in the table. Data in the table have been rounded to one or two decimal places. The calculation of index numbers is instead based on not rounded data.

Switzerland’s performance on a range of indicators selected to monitor progress in VET and lifelong learning across the European Union (EU) is summarised below. The chart compares the situation in Switzerland with that of the EU, based on the most recent data available (this differs by indicator). Data in the chart are presented as an index where the EU average equals 100. If the index for a selected indicator for Switzerland is 100, then its performance equals the EU average. If the index is 90, its performance is 90% of (or 10% below) the EU average. If the index is 200, Switzerland’s performance is twice (or 200%) the EU average. For some indicators, such as early leavers from education and training, a country is performing better if its score is below that of the EU average.

Data on which the index is calculated are presented in the table, which also shows developments over time. A technical definition of each indicator is provided in the annex.

Key points

Access, attractiveness and flexibility

Switzerland has higher levels of participation in IVET and in adult education and training than the EU average.

The share of upper secondary students enrolled in IVET programmes is 65.3%, higher than the EU average of 47.3% (data for 2015). Combined work- and school-based programmes account for 90.4% of students in upper secondary IVET, much higher than the EU average of 28.4%. A relatively large share (41.0%) of young VET graduates in Switzerland is in further education and training, as compared with the EU (at 32.8%).

Participation in lifelong learning is 32.9%, almost three times as much as the EU-average of 10.8% (data for 2016). Older people in Switzerland are more likely to participate in lifelong learning (28.3% versus 7.0% in the EU), as are adults with low levels of educational attainment (10.5% versus 4.2% in the EU), and the unemployed (26.5% versus 9.6% in the EU).

Skill development and labour market relevance

Recent data for Switzerland are missing for several indicators in this group. Public expenditure on IVET as a percentage of GDP in Switzerland, at 0.55%, is close to the EU average (at 0.54%). The percentage of graduates in STEM subjects from upper secondary VET (at 25.4%) is below the EU average (30.8% in 2015).

Overall transitions and labour market trends

In this section all data refer to 2016 unless otherwise stated.

Switzerland generally scores favourably compared with the EU average in this category. Both the rate of early leaving from education and training at 4.8% (10.7% in the EU) and the share of adults with a lower level of educational attainment at 11.5% (23.0% in the EU) are substantially below the corresponding EU averages. The percentage of 30 to 34 year-olds who have completed tertiary-level education is relatively high (53.5% versus 39.1% in the EU). The NEET rate at 8.0% (15.2% in the EU) and the unemployment rate of 20 to 34 year-olds at 5.8% (11.8% in the EU) are both lower than in the EU. The employment rate for 20 to 64 year-olds is 83.3%, higher than the EU-average of 71.0%. The employment rate of 20 to 64 year-olds with a low level of educational attainment is also higher (69.3%) than in the EU (53.6%).

Score on VET indicators in Switzerland and in the EU, 2010,
last available year and recent change

EU refers to EU-28, unless otherwise specified. Arrows ↗ or ↘ signal a positive or negative change. Arrow → indicates: no change.

(A) UOE back reconstruction of 2010 values based on ISCED 2011 not yet available. (B) AES 2011, used as proxy for 2010 baseline. (C) 2014 b flags in Eurostat online tables ignored on the basis of other relevant Eurostat metadata. (D) Forecast made in 2016. (E1) Based on 28 countries, with partial information for NL. (E2) Based on 28 countries, with partial information for EL, ES, NL, PL, RO. (E3) Based on 28 countries, with partial information for IT, NL. (E4) Based on 23 countries (missing: DK, EL, HR, IT, PT), with partial information for IE and FR. (E5) Based on 23 countries (missing: DK, EL, HR, IT, PT), with partial information for IE and FR. (E6) Based on 28 countries, with partial information for DK, EL, NL. (E7) Based on 25 countries (missing: HR, IT, UK), with partial information for BE, CZ, DK, DE, EE, EL, LU, NL, PL, SE. (E8) Based on 25 countries (missing: IE, FR, UK), with partial information for BE, EL, LU. (E9) Based on 26 countries (missing: IE, UK), with partial information for DK, DE. (E10) Based on 28 countries. (b) Break after 2010, therefore baseline data not included. (u) Eurostat: ‘low reliability’. (z) Eurostat: ‘not applicable’. (e) Eurostat: ‘estimated’.

Country-specific report details

Country report type


Statistical overview on VET - Switzerland - 2017 edition

EN 328.25 KB

Annex 1 – Short descriptions of indicators and additional notes

EN 74.35 KB

Annex 2 – Reading the Country statistical overviews

EN 39.5 KB

Annex 3 – 2017 Masterfile Country statistical overviews

EN 488.58 KB