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Four CERN technical apprentices in the class of 2020

CERN’s final-year apprentices obtained their diplomas in spite of the difficulties posed by the COVID-19 crisis; two of them received prizes from the "Union industrielle genevoise"

Friday, 04 December 2020


Loïc Gurtner (top right) during his final examination (presentation and professional interview), which took place on 19 June via videoconference. (Image: CERN)

This year, due to COVID-19, CERN’s four final-year technical apprentices completed their training in a slightly unusual way. Like everyone at CERN, they had to work from home for several weeks, which, when you’re doing technical training, comes with a few added complications: “Some laboratory activities were obviously suspended or postponed, but online training sessions were added, and the apprentices were able to continue their classes via videoconference,” explains Virginia Prieto Hermosilla, who is in charge of the technical apprentice programme. “Everyone did their best and adapted to the situation. The CERN supervisors and external experts monitored the process and “visited” the apprentices via videoconference. This allowed the final-year students to progress with their individual practical coursework and to obtain their diplomas!”

Anthony Covini and Marco Travaini, electronics technicians, and Stefanie Alves and Loïc Gurtner, physics laboratory technicians, thus obtained their certificat fédéral de capacité (CFC) after four years of training at CERN. No mean feat in the present circumstances!

In addition, Anthony Covini and Loïc Gurtner were among the top mechatronics apprentices in Geneva and were awarded prizes by the Union industrielle genevoise (UIG). The prize-giving ceremony, traditionally held in December, has been postponed to next year.

At the start of the 2020-2021 academic year, five apprentices in their second year of training began their placements at CERN. Five apprentices in their first year have also been selected and will come to CERN next September, once they have completed their basic training at the Centre d’enseignement professionnel UIG-UNIA.

In 2020, the CERN apprentices were hosted by the BE-BI, BE-RF, EN-MME, EP-ESE, EP-DT, TE-CRG, TE-EPC, TE-MPE, TE-MSC and TE-VSC groups, as well as by the Hôpitaux universitaires de Genève (HUG) and the Haute école du paysage, d'ingénierie et d'architecture de Genève (HEPIA). The commitment of the various groups to CERN’s apprenticeship programme and the quality training and support provided by the supervisors undoubtedly contribute to the success of CERN’s apprentices.


*The CERN apprenticeship programme trains mechanical technicians, electronics technicians and physics laboratory technicians. It is coordinated by the TE department. For more information, please contact Virginia Prieto Hermosilla (TE-PPR).