Qualification in English – Apprenticeship | Commerce & Retail

Qualification in English – Apprenticeship | Commerce & Retail

Cambridge English Certificate "Business" or "General"

Cambridge certificate as “unofficial” qualification in English (apprenticeship in commerce & retail)

In Switzerland, Cambridge exams serve as an "unofficial" but significant reference in the English language proficiency and competency domain, as well as preparation for the next educational level.

Cambridge English certificate by Swiss Exams - I can prove it

Why "unofficial"?

In Switzerland, the Cambridge exams are regarded as an unofficial yet significant benchmark for English language skills and competencies

Although participation in Cambridge exams is generally voluntary in most cantons and schools within the Swiss education system, they have become a staple component of a career in nearly all industries and most professions in practice. This is due to their widespread acceptance and recognition across various educational levels and within the business sector.

Over the past two decades, Cambridge Business Examinations (Cambridge Business English Certificates - BEC) have become the leading certification in the field of commercial vocational training. Over 150,000 graduates of commercial education have received a Cambridge BEC certificate in Switzerland during this time.

New Linguaskill Business with certificate

Starting in 2024, the Cambridge Linguaskill Business Certificate will replace the BEC exams. This new examination utilizes state-of-the-art technologies such as computer adaptive testing and artificial intelligence to conduct tests quickly, reliably, and securely. It is expected that Cambridge Linguaskill Business will become the new standard business English qualification for commercial and economic professions in Switzerland.

However, some schools have chosen to offer their students non-business English exams as language qualifications in the commercial and economic fields. In such cases, students are prepared for exams such as Cambridge First, Advanced, or Proficiency.

Different vocational schools have chosen different approaches. Some integrate exam preparation into their regular English classes, which is suitable for preparing for Linguaskill Business. Others, however, prefer the established exams such as First, Advanced, or Proficiency, for which it is more beneficial to offer specifically tailored preparation courses.

What opportunities does a Cambridge certificate offer?

In school

Schools - Swiss Exams - Benefits of a Cambridge English certificate

For professionals in the fields of business, commerce, or retail, strong English skills, particularly in the realm of Business English, are essential. Preparing for a Cambridge exam ensures that young individuals systematically and comprehensively enhance their language proficiency step by step. These skills are highly significant for most individuals during their vocational training and are actively used in the workplace.

  • Essential Skills: Business English is essential for business, commerce, and retail sectors
  • Systematic Improvement: Preparing for Cambridge exams progressively improve English proficiency
  • Vocational Relevance: English is vital in vocational training and actively used in the workplace

In the workplace

Workplace - Swiss Exams - Benefits of a Cambridge English certificate

Graduates of commercial or retail apprenticeships typically aim for careers where English proficiency is a clear requirement. A Cambridge certificate not only demonstrates that candidates actively pursued the acquisition of these skills during their training but also that they provided evidence thereof. A resume with a Cambridge certificate garners positive attention in Switzerland.

  • Career Relevance: English proficiency is essential for commerce and retail jobs
  • Skill Demonstration: Cambridge certificates validate language skills
  • Resume Impact: A Cambridge certificate stand out on resumes

In studies

Studies - Swiss Exams - Benefits of a Cambridge English certificate

Our education system in Switzerland allows for a variety of flexible career paths. As a result, an increasing number of apprentices pursue higher education upon completion of their apprenticeship. In most study programmes at UAS and HTC, Cambridge certificates are recognized as language proficiency certificates and are required. This significantly facilitates both entry into these institutions and the study process itself.

  • Certificate Recognition: UAS and HTC accept Cambridge certificates for language proficiency
  • Easier Admission: Certificates simplify entry and academic progress

How to obtain a Cambridge certificate?

Preparation in school/educational institution

Most vocational schools integrate preparatory courses for Cambridge exams into their training programmes. Please inquire with the respective institution for specific details regarding the offers.

Cambridge English Certification - preparation in school - Swiss Exams supports schools

Preparation via Swiss Exams Academy

For apprentices who do not have access to preparatory courses for Cambridge exams at their vocational school, Swiss Exams Academy offers suitable courses.

Cambridge English Certification - Preparation at home - Course offered by Swiss Exams Academy


For particularly ambitious apprentices who wish to prepare for the exams independently, we offer a variety of preparation materials and practice exams.

Cambridge English Certification - Self Study - preparation materials | Swiss Exams

More useful information

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