Switzerland Can Help India Fill 'Skill Gap': Ambassador
Switzerland wants to collaborate with India to help the latter bridge its 'skill gap at the middle level' which forms the back bone of industry, according to the Ambassador of Switzerland to India Dr Linus von Castelmur.

Speaking to Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan at Raj Bhavan here yesterday, the Swiss Ambassador observed that India produces large number of quality engineers and top management professionals and also possesses a huge pool of workers at the bottom level, but lacks good 'mid-level skilled workers'.

Mentioning that Switzerland is strong in technical education and vocational training, he said his country would like to collaborate with India to help the country bridge its 'skill gap at the middle level' which forms the back bone of industry, a release said.

"You need basic vocational and technical education to produce qualified craftsmen. Switzerland is a small country with only 8 million people, but has a very strong technological base. Switzerland never neglected the aspect of providing basic vocational education to its people," he said.

The Ambassador added that some of the Swiss schools are already cooperating with Indian schools in providing expertise in technical and vocational education.

A large number of Swiss tourists, especially retired people are keen to visit India, but feel that Visa restrictions need to be relaxed, he said.

Warner Nivergelt, Consul General of Switzerland in Mumbai, who accompanied the Ambassador, said noted film producer late Yash Chopra always shot his films in Switzerland.

This popularised Switzerland in Bollywood and also projected Switzerland as a 'romantic' country among Indians, he said, adding at least 20 film groups visit Switzerland for shooting every year.

The Governor said, in his capacity as Chancellor of 20 universities in Maharashtra with almost three million students pursuing higher education, he would like Switzerland to cooperate with Maharashtra in the area of skill development and technical education.
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