Roche opens new Learning Center in Kaiseraugst

Basel/Kaiseraugst, 19 January 2015

Ideal conditions for around 300 trainees

Today Roche opened its new Learning Center in Kaiseraugst. Besides offering a superlative infrastructure for trainees, the Learning Center contains a state-of-the-art school laboratory, which in this form is unparalleled in Switzerland. Investments in the building ran to approximately 86 million Swiss francs.

“Apprenticeship training has a long tradition at Roche. This investment in the Learning Center clearly reinforces our commitment to training skilled employees in-house at the Basel/Kaiseraugst site,” points out Jürg Erismann, Head of the Basel/Kaiseraugst Site. “Highly trained, motivated employees are the foundation on which business success is built.”

Trainees will find leading-edge laboratory and workshop facilities in the new learning complex. Roche’s rationale for installing the new school laboratory is also to give children and young people an opportunity to spark their enthusiasm for scientific and technical professions. In this form and in terms of the quality of the equipment, the project is pioneering for the region and Switzerland as a whole.

Dr Urs Hofmann, President of the Cantonal Council and Head of the Department of Economics and Internal Affairs, Canton Aargau, welcomes the substantial investments made by Roche in Kaiseraugst. “Education is Switzerland's most precious natural resource, which is why it is eminently important that we foster the next generation at all levels. Companies that recognise this and invest in education are taking a long-term, sustainable approach. Roche is exemplary in embracing this responsibility.”

Apprenticeship training at Roche

Roche has been training young people in a range of different professions since 1957. To date, 3,500 trainees have completed an apprenticeship at Roche in Basel/Kaiseraugst. Training in 14 different professions is now available, and some 100 young adults begin an apprenticeship at the Basel/Kaiseraugst site each year. The final examination pass rate is 98.5%. Expanding on the Swiss system of dual vocational training, Roche has adopted a tripartite model under which vocational training responsibilities are shared between three partners – the in-house training centre, on-the-job training supervisors and the state-run vocational college. On a global comparison, this training system is unique and one of the main reasons for Roche’s successful record in vocational training. Roche provides a variety of post-apprenticeship programmes to ensure a successful transition from training to the world of work.

Championing the STEM professions with the new school laboratory

In addition to the infrastructure for trainees and an entire storey devoted to adult training, the new Learning Center also houses a school laboratory designed to promote interest in the STEM professions (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) at an early age. Roche’s school laboratory has set a new benchmark for promoting the STEM professions in Switzerland. The standard of equipment and professional supervision makes the Roche school laboratory unique in Switzerland. Roche hopes specifically that its school laboratory will nurture a research mindset in children and young people as well as give them their first hands-on experience of the science, technology (including IT), engineering and mathematics.

About Roche

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world’s largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and neuroscience. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management. Roche’s personalised healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostics that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. Founded in 1896, Roche has been making important contributions to global health for more than a century.

Twenty-four medicines developed by Roche are included in the World Health Organisation Model Lists of Essential Medicines, among them life-saving antibiotics, antimalarials and chemotherapy.

In 2013 the Roche Group employed over 85,000 people worldwide, invested 8.7 billion Swiss francs in R&D and posted sales of 46.8 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information, please visit www.roche.com.

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