Technology and science appeal to Neuchâtel students

Neuchâtel ensures succession in the industrial sector. Many students in the canton are interested in technological and scientific branches. At the start of the 2022 academic year, the “industry, technical and IT” category was the most successful, with 36.6% of the workforce, as shown by the figures released on Friday by the Canton of Neuchâtel. The economy, trade, administration, transport and tourism sector accounts for 21.1% of apprentices.

In high school too, technology and science are popular. While in many Swiss cantons, modern languages ​​attract a large number of pupils, it is the options in biology and chemistry, economics and law as well as physics and applications of mathematics that most appeal to Neuchâtel residents. “Our canton is made up of industrial companies, scientific bodies, a university and high schools, which means that we are fundamentally interested in these professions which are part of our daily life”, analyzes the head of the post-compulsory training, Laurence Knoepfler Chevalley.

Boost entrepreneurship

To meet the demand of both students and the economic fabric, the Lycée Jean-Piaget in Neuchâtel has been participating since 2014 in a national business management project called YES. The Lycée Blaise-Cendrars should soon join the process. This program offers some students, as part of their work of maturity, to create and run their own business with the aim of marketing a product.

This year, two mini-companies are supported by two groups of six students from Lycée Jean-Piaget. Gustoria offers artisan spice blends to spice up pasta dishes, while Vegi Crispy makes and sells vegetable crisps. “It’s very enriching, because it allows you to put into practice a lot of notions that you see in class, especially in economics, rejoices Neven Mairy of the Gustoria project. “I love it because it plunges us into the professional world, we learn to work as a team and take our values ​​into account,” says Manon Nicolet-dit-Félix of the Vegi Crispy project.

Positive overall balance

In general, secondary II education in the canton of Neuchâtel is in good shape. The number of apprentices is on the rise again this year. The dual mode, alternating apprenticeship in a company and in a vocational school, reached a record rate of 78.5%. The start of the 2022 school year recorded 1,736 new apprenticeship contracts. The number of training companies rose slightly, to 1,417.

The number of high school students, on the other hand, is slightly down. 2,503 students are currently following the course, compared to 2,551 the previous school year. “It’s just demographic fluctuations,” says Laurence Knoepfler Chevalley. “Academic training is not at all down compared to professional training”. /ara

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