Federal Councillor Schneider-Ammann in USA: focus on vocational education and training

Media release, 18.07.2017

Bern, 18.07.2017 - Federal Councillor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann visited Washington on 17 and 18 July. The aim of his visit was to meet with several members of President Trump’s cabinet, strengthen bilateral economic relations and exchange views on cooperation in the field of vocational education and training. Meetings took place with Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Labor, Alexander Acosta, and presidential advisor, Ivanka Trump.

Federal Councillor Schneider-Ammann's meeting with presidential advisor, Ivanka Trump
Federal Councillor Schneider-Ammann's meeting with U.S. Presidential Advisor, Ivanka Trump. Official White House Photography Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

At his meeting with Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Federal Councillor Schneider-Ammann highlighted the strong growth in trade and investment, the jobs created by Swiss firms and their high level of spending on research in the United States. The meeting also covered the possibility of strengthening existing ties and the importance of vocational education and training.

Discussions with Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta focused on education. They reviewed the progress made on bilateral cooperation on vocational education and training under the declaration of intent signed in 2015.

The two parties welcomed the activities undertaken to support various US partners obtain information and expertise based on Switzerland’s apprenticeship system. It was noted that delegations from several US states had travelled to Switzerland to acquaint themselves with the country’s dual-track VET system. Furthermore, subsidiaries of Swiss firms based in the US have set up their own apprenticeship programmes in collaboration with local education institutions.

During his meeting with Ivanka Trump, Mr Schneider-Ammann was able to familiarise the White House with Switzerland’s system of vocational education and training. Expanding apprenticeships and vocational training is a priority of the Trump Administration. To that end he invited Ivanka Trump and his counterparts to visit Switzerland to explore ways of strengthening collaboration.

Mr Schneider-Ammann also met members of Congress and representatives from Swiss businesses based in the United States.

USA

Volume of trade (2016): CHF 60 billion (Switzerland’s 2nd largest partner).
Imports from USA: CHF 23.6bn. Exports to USA: CHF 36.4bn
Swiss direct investment (2015): CHF 205bn (Ranked 6th)
Jobs generated by Swiss companies: approx. 500,000

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Erik Reumann, EAER Press spokesperson, tel.: +41 79 303 81 53, info@gs-wbf.admin.ch

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Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research

http://www.wbf.admin.ch

Federal Councillor Schneider-Ammann's meeting with U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross
Federal Councillor Schneider-Ammann's meeting with U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross © Embassy of Switzerland
Federal Councillor Schneider-Ammann's meeting with U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos
Federal Councillor Schneider-Ammann's meeting with U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos © U.S. Department of Education
Federal Councillor Schneider-Ammann's meeting with U.S. Secretary of Labor, Alexander Acosta
Federal Councillor Schneider-Ammann's meeting with U.S. Secretary of Labor, Alexander Acosta © U.S. Department of Labor