Flexible and accessible VET offer
The new law establishes a single, modular and flexible offer of formal vocational training from a lifelong learning perspective. The government aims to resize the training offer, creating 135 000 new places in IVET until 2023 to meet present and future demand. Dedicated funding (EUR 253.99 million) is ensured from the national Recovery and Resilience Facility.
The new VET system provides a range of training courses of different lengths and learning volumes ranging from small units or micro-training (Grado A), learning modules (Grado B) to VET programmes (Grados C and D) and specialisation courses (Grado E). This formal VET provision is cumulative, certifiable and accreditable, enabling IVET learners, as well as employed and unemployed people, to design and progress in their own training pathways to meet personal needs, expectations and abilities.
It expands the dual principle, setting two intensity regimes for programme types C and D (respectively, professional certificates and VET diplomas); in the general regime, 25%-35% of the total programme duration is delivered in a workplace, whereas in the intensive regime this part is above 35% and learners have to enter into a training contract. Royal Decree-Law 32/2021 modified the regulation of all labour contracts, including the earlier ‘training and apprenticeship contract’ which may now have two modalities:
- alternance training contract (contrato de formación en alternancia), which can last between 3 months and 2 years, allowing several companies to participate in a contract for the same training programme; and
- contract for professional practice according to the qualification level (contrato formativo para la obtención de la práctica profesional adecuada al nivel de estudios), for (VET) graduates up to 3 years after receiving a qualification (5 years in the case of disabled people). It can last between 6 months and 1 year.
Other issues touched upon by the new VET Act include:
- the role and responsibilities of tutors in vocational training centres (tutor dual del centro de formación profesional) and in companies (tutor o tutora dual de empresa u organismo equiparado);
- teaching of foreign languages, internationalisation of the vocational training system, enabling double degrees through international agreements, and fostering bilingualism;
- encouraging participation in international projects for innovation and alliances to carry out mobility experiences in another country during training.
Validation of skills acquired through professional experience
The new regulation takes on board the new scenario set by Royal Decree 143/2021 on the recognition of prior learning acquired through work experience. It consolidates the 2021 reform, opening a permanent procedure for validation of professional skills acquired by non-formal and informal learning, and abolishing the occasional calls limited to some units of competence. It also advances new lines, such as targeting all existing units of competence, implementation through all vocational training centres; guaranteeing the necessary training offer to complement non-accredited competences; and fostering companies’ involvement in the accreditation of their workers’ competences.
Helping everyone make informed training decisions before finishing compulsory schooling and throughout their working life is another challenge addressed by this Act. It establishes a comprehensive vocational career guidance system, defining its mission, objectives, aims and provisions:
- customised support and advice for learners (young people and adults, employed or unemployed), companies, VET organisations and institutions;
- it covers the whole spectrum of vocational training provision and processes for validation of competences for all types of qualification offered in the new VET system;
- it helps the adjustment between existing skills and those in demand in the labour market; it establishes training itineraries so individuals can effectively acquire the desired professional competences.
- Ley Orgánica 3/2022, de 31 de marzo, de ordenación e integración de la Formación Profesional [Organic Law 3/2022, of March 31, on the organisation and integration of Vocational Training]
- Explanatory video on the Organic Law 3/2022, of March 31
- Plan de Modernización de la Formación Profesional [Plan for the modernisation of vocational training]
- Ley Orgánica 5/2002, de 19 de junio, de las Cualificaciones y de la Formación Profesional [Organic Act 5/2002 of 19 June, on qualifications and vocational education and training+]
- Real Decreto 143/2021, de 9 de marzo, por el que se modifica el Real Decreto 1224/2009, de 17 de julio, de reconocimiento de las competencias profesionales adquiridas por experiencia laboral [Royal Decree 143/2021, of 9 March, amending Royal Decree 1224/2009, of 17 July, on the recognition of professional competences acquired through work experience]
- Euroguidance Spain