The new law aims to bring the education system up to new international challenges. It intends to breathe new life into the vocational education and training option, making it more attractive, provide flexible pathways, and reduce early leaving from education and training.

These are the new key measures related to vocational education and training (VET):

Spanish students in their final year of compulsory secondary education (or minimum age 15) will have the possibility of choosing between two different education programmes, one more academically oriented and one leading to a VET pathway. This will give young people the opportunity to identify and explore potential career goals, and support their transition to employment, and vocational and further education pathways.

The Spanish VET system will include one further cycle, basic VET (ISCED 2011 353), with the same 2000-hour course structure as the intermediate VET and higher VET programmes and with diverse occupational profiles and modules on offer. Basic VET learners will be able to pursue further studies in intermediate VET or towards a baccalaureate, after obtaining a compulsory secondary education certificate.  

The new law improving the quality of education (LOMCE) also includes the development of dual VET with new forms of co-responsibility. A joint agreement between enterprises and education centres describes the nature of apprenticeship schemes, what must be taught and how, and the expected attainment levels.

At the end of each education cycle, there will be standardised national assessment based on a set of common criteria. Students must take these exams if they want to progress to the next education stage.

The reform also aims at helping learners acquire of a full range of key competences for lifelong learning and cross-curricular competences, such as information technology and entrepreneurial skills.

The new education law is scheduled to enter into force in the academic year 2014/15.