National Institute for Metalworking Skills Leads Global Conference on Training Workforce

Winterthur, Switzerland, September 16, 2014 —Today, National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) executive director, Jim Wall, participated in the first ever International Congress on Vocational and Professional Education and Training.  Joined by Dr. Jill Biden, Wall was one of three U.S. representatives to speak at the congress, representing the United States’ precision manufacturing industry in a global dialogue about the importance of a skilled workforce for economic competitiveness.  

Wall presented to an international audience of specialists from economic, political and scientific circles, highlighting the NIMS’ Competency-Based Apprenticeship System as a key tool in building a pipeline of talent for the manufacturing industry and one that can be replicated in other sectors.  Other speakers included Mr. Guy Ryder, Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and Federal Councillor, Johann N. Schneider-Ammann. The congress focused on building a positive image of vocational training, supporting bilateral exchanges between the private sector and policymakers, and presenting best practices in companies and schools. Wall led a discussion about the impact of business-led training solutions to better prepare the workforce for careers and connect employers directly to talented individuals.  Wall used NIMS’ participation in the National Network of Business and Industry Associations (National Network) as an example of the importance of business leadership in connecting learning to economic opportunities.  The congress is supported by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI), several cantons, professional organizations and the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW).

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