Apprentices in the Making

Freitag, 08. November 2013

by Daniel Davis Wood

Students in the Swiss Program at the Ecole d’Humanité study in an environment that gives them the skills they need to succeed when they leave here. As well as being able to learn English at a school where it is spoken as part of everyday life, they receive help to either prepare for the Swiss Matura exams or find a pathway into an apprenticeship. Two of the Ecole’s latest apprentices, pictured above, are Jan Fehlmann (left) and Benedikt de Feydeau (right), both of whom will be heading straight into further training and employment when they graduate next year.

‘Schule und Beruf’ is a program at the Ecole which aims to help students find and be accepted into apprenticeships. It begins each year in Winter Term, when all prospective apprentices come together to explore their options. With the guidance of Michael Schreier and Theresa Bach, they are encouraged to think first about their hopes and dreams for the future and then about the employment options they are likely to actually face. After this, they each create and deliver a group presentation in which they consider how they might find a job that allows them, as much as possible, to do what they would most like to do.

When they return to school for Spring Term, they all receive individual advice sessions that help them to put together a portfolio of work and submit it to companies and organizations looking for apprentices. At this time they also have the opportunity to prepare and practice for job interviews, receiving personally tailored feedback each time they sit for a mock interview with one of our apprenticeship guides.

So where do our apprentices head off to after their time at the Ecole? Benedikt will be taking up an apprenticeship as an electronics salesman next year, while Jan will improve his building and woodwork skills as an apprentice for a carpentry business. Jan’s long involvement as a participant in the Ecole’s woodworking program, and as a member of the stage-building group, helped him get a head-start on the road that led him to this apprenticeship. Previous Ecolianers have landed apprenticeships as tradespeople — particularly as mechanics and joiners — as well as cooks and kitchenhands, retail representatives, bookkeepers, administrators, and assistants to the residents of medical care facilities.

The road from the Ecole into the real world leads each student to their own unique destination, and we are prepared to help them every step of the way.