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scienceindustries as an organization of the working world (OdA)

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scienceindustries as an organization of the working world (OdA)


scienceindustries represents the interests of the Swiss chemical, pharmaceutical and life sciences industries in vocational education and training issues. As an OdA, it is committed to the further development of vocational education and training in Switzerland and assumes economic, social and educational responsibility in this area.

As an organization of the working world (OdA), scienceindustries is the contact and negotiating partner for the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) on VET/PET issues in the chemical, pharmaceutical and life sciences sectors. OdAs are organizations responsible for vocational education and training and the development of vocational qualifications in specific sectors or occupational fields.

The main tasks as an OdA

OdAs are part of Switzerland's dual education system, which ensures close cooperation between VET in schools and practice in companies. The term OdA stands for social partners, professional associations, other competent organizations and other VET providers.

They are responsible for VET programmes and PET qualifications. As sponsors of professional development, the professional organizations assume responsibility for a VET ordinance or for an examination ordinance or a framework curriculum for PET colleges.

The sectoral associations ensure a comprehensive bundling of the interests of the sectors and their members. For vocational education and training, the bundling of company interests is particularly important, as companies provide training places and purchase the trained specialists.

The main tasks of Organizations of the working world (OdA) include:

  • Development of education plans and occupational profiles: The OdA develops education plans and occupational profiles for education and training in their respective occupational field. These plans define the learning content, duration of training and competences that a trainee should acquire.
  • Organisation and conduct of examinations: The OdA is responsible for organizing and conducting the final vocational examinations. It ensures that the examinations meet the qualification requirements and are assessed fairly and objectively.
  • Quality assurance of VET: The OdA monitors the quality of VET in its area and ensures that the training content meets the current requirements of the labour market.
  • Promote cooperation with enterprises: The OdA works closely with companies to take into account the needs of the economy and to ensure that VET is practice-oriented and that trainees acquire the necessary skills and competences.
  • Representation of interests: The OdA represents the interests of companies in their respective occupational field vis-à-vis authorities and other educational institutions.

The OdAs play a crucial role in ensuring the quality of VET in Switzerland and help ensure that trainees acquire the skills and knowledge they need for a successful career.

Vocational profiles in basic and higher vocational education and training

As the supporting organization, scienceindustries is responsible for planning, coordinating and implementing career development processes for three VET professions and four PET professions.

Basic vocational training:

  • Laboratory technician EFZ
  • Chemical and pharmaceutical technician (EBA)
  • EFZ chemical and pharmaceutical technologist

Advanced vocational training:

  • Scientific laboratory technician with federal diploma
  • Chemical and pharmaceutical technician with federal diploma
  • Chemical and pharmaceutical production manager with federal diploma
  • Dipl. Techniker/-in HF Systemtechnik, specialization in pharmaceutical and chemical technology

scienceindustries Vocational Training Network

In order to continue to develop basic and advanced vocational training in a targeted manner in the future, scienceindustries needs a nationwide institutionalized exchange with the training companies in the industry. To this end, a network of vocational training managers from scienceindustries member companies has been in place since 2021. This enables a regular exchange on vocational training issues in the area of chemistry, pharmaceuticals and life sciences and the coordination of upcoming projects in vocational training. In this way, the development of basic and advanced vocational training in the sector is to be actively promoted. The goals are:

  • targeted further development of scienceindustries professions;
  • Development of new professions relevant to the industry;
  • Promoting the image of the professions in society and increasing awareness among school leavers;
  • Identifying and implementing training opportunities relevant to the sector.

Cooperation with the aprentas training association

scienceindustries has mandated aprentas to provide training and further education. aprentas is the training association for basic and further education in scientific, technical and commercial professions. The continuing education programme includes courses and further education in the fields of "Chemistry Pharma Life Sciences". The trainees come from the sponsoring companies Novartis and Syngenta as well as from its approximately 80 member companies. Today, aprentas trains around 500 apprentices in 15 different professions. The training offered by aprentas secures the next generation of professionals for scienceindustries members in the long term and supports them in the further training of their employees.

scienceindustries gave aprentas the mandate to represent its interests in vocational education and training issues throughout Switzerland back in 2004. This means that aprentas is responsible, among other things, for revising the education ordinances in the relevant professions. As part of the partnership, aprentas and the cantons work together in the interests of high-quality VET/PET. In addition, the association is involved in various offices and specialist committees. Furthermore, aprentas organizes an annual forum on current education policy topics with renowned speakers.


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