A low regard for vocational education contributes to the high rate of youth unemployment, experts say.
Dr Naji al Mahdi, the head of the national institute for vocational education, puts the perceived stigma down to a lack of visible role models. However, he said many successful people, including the heads of oil companies, had started off on technical education programmes and on apprenticeships.
Children are not connecting with inspirational people from a young enough age, he said: "By 18, it's too late."
Beat Jost, a consultant with Worlddidac, said Switzerland had one of the lowest rates of unemployment in Europe thanks to strong vocational education. "There is a greater cost effectiveness of training someone in vocational education than at university or college," he said.