“I don’t sense any uncertainty among our apprentices”

Due to the financial woes triggered by the coronavirus crisis, many companies cannot continue to employ their apprentices after they graduate. What is the situation at Swiss Post? Vocational trainer Kujtim Ismaili on the situation in the Berne letter delivery region (LDR).

Sandra Gonseth

Kujtim Ismaili
Kujtim Ismaili (26) has been a professional trainer and team leader in the Berne letter delivery region (LDR) for two years. He leads a team of 18 employees, including four apprentices. Ismaili completed an apprenticeship for the Federal VET (Vocational and Educational Training) diploma in distribution logistics, going on to complete advanced training as a federally certified logistician. He likes to spend his free time outdoors and enjoys a range of activities, including football. Copyright: Urs Graber

You work with apprentices every day. Do young people have concerns about their professional future?

I don’t sense any uncertainty among our apprentices. That’s surely related to the fact that most apprentices in the Berne LDR are able to carry on working. Unfortunately, this is not the situation in other companies and sectors. Apprenticeship graduates will be among those who lose out as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

How many apprentices can Swiss Post actually retain in logistics?

In the Berne LDR, three logistics specialists have successfully finished their training this year. We are pleased to say we can keep all three of them on in the company. Across the organization, 82 percent of logistics apprentices wanted to stay on at Swiss Post after their training. Of these, 80 percent were accepted. Talented young professionals also have the opportunity to join our early career development programme. Although if someone has other plans, that’s perfectly legitimate as well.

Because of coronavirus, there were no final written and oral examinations. What were the reactions?

When I received the initial information from official sources, I immediately talked to our apprentices. I was amazed at how calmly they dealt with the situation, because even the practical exam went ahead in a pared-down form. I think it’s a good solution and can’t foresee any disadvantages for these young people in their professional futures.

What do you consider particularly important as a vocational trainer?

Apprentices should be at a good level in terms of quality and productivity. They also need to be self-reliant and able to act independently. That’s a learning process, and we guide and support them through it. Apprentices receive the highest level of support at Swiss Post. Whenever an issue arises — be it personal or professional in nature — we always try to work together to find a solution.

What’s your personal goal for the training programme?

My aim is for the apprentices to develop into highly trained logistics experts, so that they can gain the best possible foothold in the working world. This can be achieved only through a combination of various factors: judicious recruitment, good on-the-job training, support from Swiss Post Vocational Training and our in-house trainers. And something else that’s highly important: through the apprentices’ own dedication.

What’s the secret of your success as a vocational trainer?

Of course, the credit goes first and foremost to the young people themselves. I’m just their coach, albeit a persistent one. If you want to build on apprentices’ skills and help them to achieve, you have to persevere as a trainer.

I’m just their coach, albeit a persistent one.

Kujtim Ismaili

written by

Sandra Gonseth