Working in Switzerland

The pandemic is affecting the whole world, but some countries are less affected economically. One of these countries is Switzerland, which continues to demand workers with a certain profile, such as doctors, engineers, accountants, financial analysts, electricians, drivers, nurses, geriatric nurses, scientists and computer scientists.

Two of our students during the corna pandemic got jobs in Switzerland, as medical assistant and computer engineer.

Working in Switzerland has become a great desire for millions of people around the world, but not all of them succeed. Swiss companies and authorities are becoming more and more demanding, and in many companies English alone is no longer enough.

Knowledge of an official language for residence and nationality

For the C-Bewilligung (foreign nationals living in Switzerland can obtain a permanent residence permit after a continuous stay of five or ten years) an A2 level of German, French or Italian is required.

“Proof of oral language skills in the language spoken at the place of residence at least at reference level A2. The proof must be the authoritative language passport or a language certificate according to the list of the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM).”

Source:

https://www.pom.be.ch/pom/de/index/migration/einreise/formulare_merkblaetter.assetref/dam/documents/POM/MIP/de/MIDI/Arbeitsmarkt/Merkblatt_Erteilung_NB_d.pdf

In order to be able to work in Switzerland, the Swiss authorities change the immigration laws and residency requirements from time to time.

At the Kanton Zürich, to apply for Swiss nationality one of the requirements is a B1 level of German.

Source:

https://www.stadt-zuerich.ch/portal/de/index/politik_u_recht/einbuergerungen/voraussetzungen.html

 

Official languages in Switzerland

Depending on whether it is the German, French or Italian area, Swiss companies require a good command of one of the official languages in Switzerland. Another of the 4 official languages in Switzerland is Romansh.

For many years most foreign workers in Switzerland have lived in a bubble with English, in their jobs they only spoke English, but this trend is changing and working in Switzerland is a bit more difficult than before.

I remember an email an American sent me a long time ago:

“Thats the first time in my life that English is not enough”.

This man is now over 50 years old and lives in Zurich. During his 15 years in Switzerland he has only worked with English and now the company requires him to learn German.

This is a good example of how the situation is changing.

In addition, when a foreign worker loses his job, in the RAV (regional employment centre), which is like the employment office, the RAV employees often do not want to speak English.

More than one person has had to go to the RAV with an accompanying person or even a translator.

 

In which areas of Switzerland is there more work?

In the French part of Switzerland, many important international organisations such as WHO, UNO, WTO, etc. are located there.

In the German part of Switzerland, Basel is home to major pharmaceutical companies such as Roche, Novartis and Syngenta.

Zurich is home to major financial and insurance companies.

Canton Zug (near Zurich) in Switzerland is a small tax haven. In this small canton many important companies employ thousands of people. Siemens, Roche, Johnson and Johnson, Migros to name a few.

 

Natural paradise

Switzerland is a paradise for nature lovers. The list of beautiful places worth visiting is endless. Here I will only mention a few: Lauterbrunnen, Blausee, Matterhorn, Eiger. As a child I saw the famous north face of the Eiger mountain, it is impressive to see it up close.