Who we are and where we come from

ECAP is a non-commercial and non-profit adult education institute in Switzerland. Headquartered in Zurich, there are nine regional branches throughout Switzerland. With its courses, the intercultural organisation enables the education of migrants and employees in general, including those with little formal education. With more than 40,000 participants per year, ECAP is the second largest adult education institute in Switzerland – and the number one school for German and integration courses.

Exemplary collective labour agreement

In the almost 50 years of its existence, ECAP has enabled countless migrants and just as many employees to actively participate in life in Switzerland. Since July 2016, the over 900 ECAP employees have been subject to their own collective agreement, which is regarded as exemplary in adult education. Among other things, employees are generously supported in their professional development.

Right to education as a fundamental right

The right to education is a fundamental right of all citizens of a country. We strongly believe that diversity of people is an enrichment for a society. We express our solidarity with people from all cultures through our daily commitment.

Gender equality as a central concern

Promoting equality has been one of our main concerns since ECAP was founded - long before it became a political issue in Switzerland. We have been involved in numerous equality projects for years. These are supported by the Federal Office for Gender Equality (EBG), the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SBFI) and the cantonal authorities, or take place in the context of European projects.

Union roots

ECAP was founded in 1970 by the Italian trade union CGIL as an institute for adult education and vocational training. In 1984, the institute was transformed into a foundation and entered into cooperation with the Swiss Federation of Trade Unions (SGB) and subsequently with the Spanish trade union Comisiones Obreras and the Portuguese CGTP. Since September 2006 there has been a cooperation with the trade union Unia.

Our activities

  • General education, linguistic and vocational education and training for migrants and workers with a low level of formal education and training
  • Training of adult educators, language and cultural educators
  • Project planning, implementation and evaluation of new educational models
  • Realization of projects supporting migrants in Switzerland
  • Participation in and promotion of transnational educational activities
  • Organisation of conferences and study seminars
  • Publication of research work, reflection contributions and didactic material.

Our funding

ECAP's activities are financed by finalized public contributions and by the fees of the participants.