Updated: Oct 9, 2019
We are pleased to announce an exciting new partnership with Route2China which aims to enhance career opportunities for Swiss apprentices interested in hands-on learning and expanding international networks in Asia and beyond. Recently, we joined hands with Min Wang, Founder and Director and spoke with her about her work in building the bridge between Switzerland and China and how a partnership with GAN Global can enhance their work in promoting the apprenticeship model in other countries and with various companies. She also introduced us to Credit Suisse, a strong supporter of apprenticeship programs and an apprentice at novaCapta Software & Consulting who participated in a Route2China program:
Interview with Min Wang:
How does Route2China help young people and companies prepare for working successfully in an era of rapid globalization? Route2China helps young people and companies preparing for the future by offering a unique work exchange program in China for apprentices and their managers. Study exchange programs are quite common for university students, however for apprentices the opportunity to do an exchange in another country is rather limited. Yet such exchange programs are essential for apprentices, because our world is globalizing at a very fast speed. For young people to succeed in the future, they have to learn how to work in an international environment with very different cultural and business etiquettes.
This is exactly what we offer: an opportunity to experience the working environment in China, an upcoming leading economy unlike any other Western economy we know. Companies choose to work with us, because they want to transform their workforce to be more mobile and agile, a key competitive advantage to win in today’s and tomorrow’s world. Credit Suisse is setting a great example. In October, Credit Suisse will send four of their best IT apprentices through our programs to Shanghai. These apprentices will complete projects with a renowned Chinese FinTech company, RootAnt. In this exchange, we create a great win-win for both sides: Credit Suisse gets an insight on how FinTech works in Asia and RootAnt gets to learn more about Swiss banking.
Please tell us a little about the programme - what were the main reasons for establishing Route2China and what are you hoping to achieve? We offer 2 main programmes:
· Innovation Workshop for managers;
· Exchange Program for apprentices.
We have set up these programs to promote mobility in the workforce. Our goal is to broaden company’s horizon and make their workforce more innovative and robust. We are specialized in China, because China is the next up-coming leading economy and it offers our participants a totally different perspective.
The Innovation Workshop is a one week program where managers get an insight on China’s most impressive innovations and new trends. The Exchange Program is for apprentices to work on a project in a Chinese working environment. Both programs allow participants to bring back new impulses and fresh ideas as well as the opportunity to connect to China.
The major benefit for the companies to work with us is that we offer all-in-one programs and take care of all the tedious administrative work in a foreign country, such as visa application, project placement, accommodation, etc. This way companies do not have to worry about special rules and regulations and can focus on their core competence.
How do you feel a partnership with GAN will be a win-win for both organizations? We both have the same goal to promote apprenticeship and prepare a workforce which is mobile, agile and have what’s needed to succeed in an era where globalization is taking place rapidly. Route2China has a large network in China and offers a unique exchange program that makes apprenticeship as well as companies who offer these programs more attractive. Route2China can help GAN to introduce apprenticeship as a very successful workforce model into China.
Also, GAN can take advantage of Route2China’s exchange programs and offer them as additional benefits to its members. On the other hand, Route2China benefits from the global network of companies GAN has and the prominent platform it provides. I am very happy about our partnership and believe together we will achieve more.
Interview with Christian Heintz, Head Young Talents Zurich & North Switzerland, Credit Suisse:
What motivated your company to participate in Route2China's programme? We want to give our apprentices the opportunity to develop their skillset and their intercultural competencies during their apprenticeship as well as their language competencies.
What are the benefits for your company? We gain highly motivated apprentices with really good skills especially after joining such a program. Furthermore, this is an opportunity for us to thank our talented apprentices for their great performance. With such programs we are able to show how successful the Swiss education system is and that Credit Suisse is a strong supporter.
Interview with Thomas Gassmann, Associate Technology Specialist, novaCapta Software & Consulting Schweiz AG:
What did you learn as a participant in the Route2China programme? During the Route2China program in Shanghai I not only gained a lot of experience in IT-related things, that I haven't worked with before, but also improved my knowledge of another country. Working abroad and in China in particular is a unique experience and it was great to get to know the Chinese work environment. Never having been outside of Europe before, I also gained more cultural understanding. All in all, the program taught me a lot and definitely affected the way I view things now and the way I go about work in IT now.
How have you been able to apply your new learnings since returning to Switzerland? I could apply a lot of the things I have learned in China, as soon as I got back to Switzerland. Since the tech stack I use in Switzerland is very different, I couldn't apply my new IT knowledge directly. But indirectly it helped me a lot, because understanding different things and seeing the bigger picture helps a lot in improving your work. On the other hand, I would also say that seeing how China has managed to digitalize its economy so fast also helped me understand where the industry might be headed in a few years.
Learn more about Min’s vision on Swiss/China mobility programmes on this podcast with our Head of Strategic Partnerships and Development, Kathleen Elsig. And don’t miss Route2China on social media to get the latest updates on adventures from the newest batch of Swiss apprentices in China!