During their VET programme, apprentices may be victims of psychological or physical violence from various persons: other apprentices, other learners and VET school teachers, employee, supervisors and VET trainers at the host company, or even members of their family.

However, apprentices may also resort to violence either in the company, at the VET school or in their leisure time. In most cases, the violence is aimed at young people of the same age and sometimes even against adults.

As laid down in Art. 328 of the Swiss Code of Obligations (CO) and the Employment Act (Art. 6), employers are required to protect their employees’ safety and wellbeing at the workplace. In addition, they have a duty to help and assist young workers. In accordance with the Employment Act, employers must protect the health of apprentices and young people until they reach the age of eighteen. They must ensure that they are not overworked or exposed to bad influences. Knowing how to act in a proper and appropriate manner is part of their management and training responsibilities.

Problems must first of all be referred to the local cantonal VET offices; they can provide advice and indicate the names and addresses of specialised services.