Manufacturing leaders benchmark Swiss apprenticeship program

Source: National Institute for Metalworking Skills

Dec 15, 2010

In an effort to improve American workforce training, representatives from the U.S. precision manufacturing industry journeyed to Switzerland to meet with Swiss manufacturers and explore the nation’s apprenticeship system.

The group was led by Harry Moser, NIMS Board Member and Agie-Charmilles Chairman Emeritus, and included Gregory Chambers, NIMS Board Chair and Director of Compliance, Oberg Industries; Jeff Kelly, Chairman and CEO, Hamill Manufacturing; Erick Ajax, Vice-President, E.J. Ajax; and NIMS Deputy Director James Wall.

Upon returning to the United States, Mr. Chambers reported about the Swiss system to the NIMS Board of Directors and engaged the Board in a discussion on how U.S. companies and NIMS might replicate appropriate and successful components of the system.

Apprenticeship is highly regarded in Switzerland — both socially and economically. Seventy percent of the Swiss workforce is educated and trained through apprenticeships, including many white-collar occupations.