Catalan companies ask that the elections not stop the dualization of the FP

Catalan business associations are concerned about the challenge of properly applying the Vocational Training (VET) reform that begins to be implemented next year.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
30 March 2024 Saturday 04:27
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Catalan companies ask that the elections not stop the dualization of the FP

Catalan business associations are concerned about the challenge of properly applying the Vocational Training (VET) reform that begins to be implemented next year. This means that students alternate training between the educational center and companies, with more hours in the workplace. “All social agents support this model approved by the Vocational Training Law,” says Manel Rosillo, head of Vocational Training at Foment del Treball, “but it is very ambitious to want to dualize all training cycles at once, going from the current 5% to 100%. in the next course”

The concern is based not only on the increase in hours that the student must spend in the workplace (in Catalonia there is at least 20 million more hours missing from the internship time that is currently dedicated to all degrees), but in the little information that entrepreneurs and self-employed people have about their future role.

They are concerned that, after demanding for a long time a firm commitment to vocational training that guarantees qualified technicians, it does not end up offering sufficient quality. In this sense, they consider it a priority to work so that all schools find companies suitable for the studies they offer.

For Foment, it is important that employers, both those who are already offering internships and those who will join, know that next year they will take on a part of the curriculum. “They are not going to issue an internship report and that's it, they are going to acquire a different role, more of a trainer in certain skills, and they will have to evaluate them,” explains the manager of the employer's association. Therefore, it urges the administration to lead a generic information campaign by sectors and territories, which will be supported by business associations.

Rosillo believes that “we cannot sleep like what happened in December, with the Social Security registration of student internships, which were postponed from July to September and from September to last January, until a solution was found a week before, "That worked, but it's still temporary," he says. For this reason, he proposes that, regardless of the extended budget and the progress of the elections, the Government leads this information campaign.

In recent years, the administration has tried to adjust student demand to the educational offer, taking into account business employment needs. With the dualization of training, companies acquire a more important role which, ultimately, will condition the training offer.

For Rosillo, it is essential that in this new stage there is a map of resources by sectors and by territories. He gives the example of Tourism, considering the existing cycle places and how many students the business community can accommodate, where, and what employment will be generated in the future from that qualification. This extends it to other types of training that also require stays in companies.

“What capacity do we have as a country to offer training considering that the company will receive cycle, professional and university certificate students?” In this sense, the FPCat Agency plans to create a map, but it will not be ready until 2028.

For Pimec, it is necessary to make it easier for micro-enterprises to go from having a student in practice to having them to train and evaluate them. "In Catalonia, of the 264,000 companies with employees, 99.6% are medium or small, and many are microenterprises, with less than 10 employees. "We need them, but they need support to take on this greater demand," he explains.

Only from a bureaucratic point of view does it require extra work, he believes.

He gives the example of the obligation to register intern students with Social Security, expressing the Generalitat's will to find the best solution.

But different solutions were established depending on the type of student and the center in which they were enrolled. The universities adopted one way out, the institutes that taught cycles another different one and different if the students were from public or subsidized institutions, and the professional certificates, which came from the SOC, another different one. The result is that companies continue to ask what they should do if they come from a cycle, a university degree, a professional certificate, whether the center is public or private... "Pimec positively values ​​the Generalitat's intention to resolve it, but I would prefer a global solution," adds Miró, recalling that the involvement of companies with training is voluntary, although they are aware of their social commitment and that they will end up benefiting.

For the Pimec board, the figure of the joint guardian is necessary. It would be a professional who would accompany several companies in the different tasks that are required (training, guiding information so that companies know their obligations, student reception). For this, public resources need to be mobilized.

As the new curricula planned for the 2024-2025 academic year are implemented (CC.OO. has requested a one-year extension), difficulties will arise that employers already anticipate (occupational risks for minors, internships far from the institute, work peaks in the company incompatible with training, etc.). Pimec carried out a study with renewable energy installers and observed that they could not guarantee that during the practices there would be orders (they are also dedicated to other installations that do not fall into the study plans of the cycles in which the students are enrolled). This opens the analysis of the creation of hybrid profiles.

On the other hand, one of the relevant changes pending in Catalonia is to integrate into a single system the educational vocational training network (the cycles) and the employment training network (adult workers) that until now operated in parallel. For the head of Pimec, there is still a lack of coordination of the integration of the offer, centers that provide training cycles, professional certificates and continuous training. And that all this is oriented towards the needs of the work and specific objectives (such as future needs). "We need a comprehensive map that responds to prospective criteria, without forgetting public-private collaboration," says Miró.

According to the FPCat Agency, it is planned to deploy around 50 centers that offer training in some of the professional families, both public and private.