Articles of apprenticeship


Under articles of apprenticeship, an employer is bound to train a trainee occupationally in the skills of a certain trade. In consideration thereof, the trainee is bound to provide labour to the employer (comp. Art. 344 of the ‘CoO’). The training is the paramount purpose thereof.

The statutory basis

Articles of apprenticeship are governed by Arts. 344 to 346a of the ‘CoO’. In supplementation thereof, the statutory requirements of Art. 319 et seq. of the ‘CoO’ can also be applied. In addition the statutory requirements of the Swiss Occupational Training Legislation (‘BBG – Berufbildungsgesetz’) [SR 412.10.]  are also to be observed.

Essential differences from usual contracts of employment

  • Articles of apprenticeship are to be in writing for their validity (comp. 344a, Para. 1 of the ‘CoO’).
  • A trainer (master tradesman) is to make every effort to bring the apprenticeship to a successful conclusion (comp. Art. 345, Para 1 of the ‘CoO’).
  • An apprentice has no statutory claim to remuneration.
  • An employer is under a statutory duty to ensure that the apprenticeship is supervised by a responsible master tradesman, who possesses the necessary occupational trade skills (comp. Art. 345a, Para. 1 of he ‘CoO’).
  • An employer is to accord an apprentice the necessary time off to attend courses at an occupational training institution.
  • An apprentice has at least five weeks paid vacation per annum.
  • In cases of extraordinary notice of termination of the articles, the requirements of Art. 346, Para. 2 of the ‘CoO’) are to be observed (a statement of the material grounds therefor).

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