The recently appointed ministers of education and vocational training and of labour, migration and social security have presented their respective departments’ plans of action before Congress.
Vocational education and training (VET) becomes one of the axes of the new policies of the renamed Ministry for Education and Vocational Training (previously Education, Culture and Sports) to support the change of the country’s production model. In a context of shared responsibilities and competences, between the State, autonomous communities, families and individuals, collaboration and open dialogue are key elements on which planned VET measures will rely:
- elimination of the lower-secondary education itineraries available to students over 13, one academic and the other vocationally oriented, which determine the school path dependent on performance;
- modification of basic VET programmes, to ensure that they are paths for students who need more support, without becoming second-best pathways;
- combating early school leaving, a joint challenge for schools and the labour market as, once the crisis is over, the labour market will return to attracting young people with basic qualifications to fill unskilled jobs.
Four major areas are at the heart of the ministry’s next actions:
- modernising and restructuring the vocational training system to achieve better coordination of VET provision, delivered by the employment and education authorities; easing recognition gateways between vocational qualifications issued by them – the occupational standards certificates (certificados de profesionalidad, CdP) and VET Diplomas – as well as progression from basic (ISCED 353) to intermediate VET (ISCED 354) and from intermediate to higher VET (ISCED 554) programmes; and harmonising the different forms of access to VET (entrance exams, preparatory courses) carried out by adult schools;
- promoting VET programmes for skills in demand, to tackle skill mismatches and respond to the emerging demands of the new economy;
- setting nationally-valid basic regulation for dual VET (common VET model) which will allow autonomous communities to organise dual VET in a more homogenous way, avoiding inequality;
- supporting upskilling and improving processes for validating prior learning and developing an integrated model of guidance for both academic and vocational studies in cooperation with the ministry of labour.