Learners (or apprentices) are considered to have finished their compulsory education, be aged fifteen or over, have signed an apprenticeship contract or be enrolled in a school-based VET programme (at a trade school or commercial school). The competent cantonal authority may, in exceptional circumstances, grant a special dispensation from the minimum age requirement.

Although the Federal Vocational and Professional Education and Training Act (VPETA) of 2004 introduced the word “learner”, the term “apprentice” can still be used as there are no negative connotations.

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