November 2017 marks the fifth anniversary since dual VET was first introduced in Spain and developed through ‘training and apprenticeship contracts’ established by law (Royal Decree 1529/2012).
Since then, dual VET, understood as alternating training periods in an education institution and the workplace, has been progressing in its implementation and development. Pilot experiences in some regions have given way to consolidated projects throughout the state, reaching 24 000 apprentices, 10 000 companies and around 900 education centres; although positive, these figures remain low, with barely 3% of students pursuing this type of vocational training.
Alliance for dual VET
The Alliance for dual VET (Alianza para la FP Dual) is a state network of companies, centres and institutions committed to developing dual VET in Spain; it is promoted by the Bertelsmann Foundation, together with the Princess of Girona Foundation, main business organisations (CEOE-CEPYME) and the Chamber of Commerce of Spain. The Alliance, started two years ago by five institutions, has already more than 650 members, many of them companies. Its aim is to improve the legal framework of dual VET and increase the prestige of VET in general.
The III Alliance forum for dual VET, held in October 2017, gathered together prominent state representatives, regional administration agents and members of the alliance to review progress and discuss future challenges to make dual VET a smart choice.
Clear legal framework for dual VET
One of the most repeated demands at the October forum was the need for a new regulation within the education authority dual VET, building on experience gained from pilot experiences carried out since 2012. The focus should be on selected issues: the minimum elements that any dual VET programme must comprise; the necessary training requirements of company tutors; the possibility that companies add additional content to official curricula; defining the role and joint responsibility of companies; and compulsory remuneration of apprentices. In the opinion of most of the forum’s speakers, having a common and clear setting could add a new impetus to dual VET in Spain.
The working group established by the Alliance presents in its paper its proposals for a new legal framework of dual VET. The Ministry of education is consulting with all stakeholders to reach the necessary level of consensus to publish a new dual VET regulation.