Apprenticeships out of thin air
Zurich, 2 September 2021 – Migros is expanding its social commitment. In cooperation with the Viventa vocational school, it is launching a Migros year of vocational preparation for young people who do not meet the requirements for an apprenticeship. As such, it is helping to integrate them into the world of work.
The market for apprenticeships in Switzerland is highly competitive, and young adults must pass a challenging selection process to qualify for an apprenticeship. For those young people who do not meet the requirements for an apprenticeship during the application period – whether for familial, social or other reasons – entering the world of work is particularly difficult. Migros is assuming its social responsibility by offering systematic help to these young people in particular to integrate them into the world of work. In collaboration with the Viventa vocational school, Migros is launching a pilot project in and around Zurich. This project is unique in the region.
This year, about 15 schoolchildren will be starting a year of vocational preparation in Zurich. Their career aspirations are diverse, spanning everything from business to catering. Over the course of a year, the young people will attend Viventa vocational school and gain valuable initial practical experience at a Migros Group company. The goal is to be able to offer them an apprenticeship within the Migros Group after this year of vocational preparation if both sides are interested. The young people will also get targeted support from a coach throughout their apprenticeship in addition to the input they will receive from their vocational trainers. In this way, they will be provided with intense supervision and a solid basis for entering the labour market. "As the largest provider of apprenticeships in Switzerland, I am proud that we can expand our social commitment and that we have such an experienced parter in Viventa vocational school," says Stefan Gamper, the Head of Young Talents at the Migros Group. "In so doing, we can have a long-term impact and ensure the systematic inclusion of young people, from their year of vocational preparation to the completion of their apprenticeship."
"Inclusion is an important issue for us here at Migros. It's part of our DNA," says Sarah Kreienbühl, the Head of the HR, Communication, Culture and Leisure Department. "This offer expands our multifaceted social commitment and closes yet another gap in the integration of young people on the labour market." Migros companies already work together closely with institutions on various projects. For example, the Migros Aare and Migros Basel cooperatives enable young people with restricted working capacity or from difficult family situations to start their working life. Other cooperatives, such as Migros Geneva and Migros Eastern Switzerland, offer much-appreciated training opportunities to people with physical or mental disabilities. This long-term commitment by Migros in a number of companies will now be expanded step-by-step into a nationwide offer of targeted support by the Migros Group to young people facing disadvantages on the labour market.
About Migros' social engagement
Migros is committed to our society, spending more than CHF 150 million on it every year. Migros creates multifaceted offers and boldly provides impetus in the fields of coexistence, culture, education, health, technology and ethics as well as the climate and resources. "Migros' social engagement is unique worldwide in terms of its variety, independence and durability. The underlying idea has been part of Migros since the beginning. Migros founder Gottlieb Duttweiler established this engagement in the early 1940s. The Migros Cultural Percentage was even added to the articles of association as a separate business purpose in 1957. Migros' social initiatives and thus its social engagement have included the Migros Aid Fund since 1979 and the Migros Pioneer Fund since 2012.
Migros as a training organisation
Migros is already the largest private training establishment in Switzerland, offering some 3800 apprenticeships in more than 60 different training professions.
Viventa vocational school
The Viventa vocational school is a training offering from the City of Zurich serving about 2500 students and 8000 course participants each year. It is a centre of excellence for vocational preparation, vocational training, integration and adult education as well as the host of the special needs school 15plusSHS.
Other inclusion projects that are sponsored by Migros Engagement include:
Theatre classes for young people
The Junge Schalktheater is aimed at young people aged 14-24 with difficult backgrounds. They are offered regular theatre classes, group visits to theatre performances and encounters with artists and workshops.
Dance and theatre performances by artists with disabilities
Once every two years, the IntegrART project networks inclusive festivals and interested theatres throughout Switzerland with the aim of presenting Swiss and international dance and theatre productions. The next IntegrART conference will be held at the Gessnerallee in Zurich on 21-22 September 2021. The topic will be "Rethinking structures." Register here.
The Surprise podcast: Affected by poverty
The series of podcasts by Surprise focuses in a positive way on people affected by poverty as well as socially excluded people. Those affected are given an opportunity to speak themselves, talking in a self-determined way about their lives, experiences and what they have learnt. This will raise public awareness about poverty in Switzerland in a sustainable manner.
Mad Pride 2022
The first Mad Pride was held in Toronto in 1993 in an attempt to raise awareness about psychological disorders and overcome prejudice. Since then, interested parties and people with mental illnesses from around the globe have gathered once a year to remove taboos and destigmatise the issue. The next National Mad Pride will take place in Bern on Saturday 18 June 2022 and will include a parade through the city's old town followed by a festival on Bundesplatz.
Photo/stage: Jacob Ammentorp Lund