Swiss min­is­ter to talk ed­u­ca­tion in U.S.

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NATIONAL -

Switzer­land’s econ­omy min­is­ter, Jo­hann Sch­nei­der-Am­mann, is due to visit Washington this week and will tout his coun­try’s ad­vanced sys­tem of vo­ca­tional train­ing as he meets of­fi­cials in­clud­ing President Don­ald Trump’s daugh­ter and ad­viser Ivanka Trump.

The earn-while-you-learn ap­proach is gain­ing trac­tion in the U.S., where post­sec­ondary-school ed­u­ca­tion is typ­i­cally fi­nanced by debt. Trump is­sued an ex­ec­u­tive or­der last month to promote ap­pren­tice­ships with an av­er­age start­ing wage of roughly $15 per hour. His pre­de­ces­sor, Barack Obama, signed a dec­la­ra­tion of in­tent on vo­ca­tional train­ing with Switzer­land in 2015 in a bid to get fa­mil­iar with the coun­try’s sys­tem.

“As I talk with busi­nesses around the coun­try — small busi­nesses, large busi­nesses — they say ‘we want to hire but the in­di­vid­u­als that are ap­ply­ing don’t have and haven’t had an op­por­tu­nity to ob­tain the skills we’re look­ing for,’” U.S. Sec­re­tary of La­bor Alexan­der Acosta said ear­lier this month.

In ad­di­tion to dis­cussing vo­ca­tional ed­u­ca­tion with Ivanka Trump, the topic will also be on the agenda when Sch­nei­der-Am­mann meets with Sec­re­tary of Ed­u­ca­tion Betsy DeVos and Acosta, ac­cord­ing to the Swiss gov­ern­ment.

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