Bühler AG, which is headquartered in Uzwil (Canton of St. Gallen), opened an apprentice academy in the state of Minnesota. The academy operates according to the model of the Swiss dual education system, which means that apprentices are paid during their training period and receive social benefits. Until now, technical training in the US was only offered by vocational schools paid for by the students. Bühler, in contrast, assumes all training costs for the apprentices. In addition, all graduates receive a job with Bühler unlike graduates of American vocational schools who are often unable to find positions. The first five graduates completed their three-year training in May.
Bühler collaborated with Dunwoody College of Technology, which offered the theoretical part of the training. The state of Minnesota officially recognises the degree. The programme even encourages an exchange with Europe, as Bühler writes in a news release, implying that American graduates could find work in eastern Switzerland.
The US is keen to learn from the Swiss experience with the dual education system. Federal Councillor Johann Schneider-Ammann and representatives from Swiss companies participated in a roundtable discussion at the White House on this subject in January.