The Council of Ministers has approved in the second round the Organic Law for the Organization and Integration of Vocational Training. This is one of the Government’s great bets to cover the needs of the future of the Spanish economy, which according to forecasts will require a greater number of jobs with low and intermediate qualifications, that is, the middle and higher technicians that make up the FP. The Minister of Education, Pilar Alegría, recalled in the press conference after the Council that VET graduates have six times less unemployment than young people as a whole.
The proposal of the Ministry of Education focuses on different novelties with a view to making the stage more flexible, making it more attractive for all strata, professionals or students, such as giving greater prominence to companies, through the creation of a company tutor who evaluates a part of the student’s knowledge; the integration of all forms of VET; and the possibility of taking courses of shorter duration than the current ones. All this in order to “propose an attractive and competitive training offer” to students.
Courses organized by degrees
The different levels in which the new vocational training is organized will range from A to E, depending on the duration of the courses. The objective of this grouping is to obtain a specific competence to improve employability, so that students can take courses of fewer hours.
From A to C: base offer and Professional Certificate
The most basic are those of group A, which are the “base offer” and partially accredit the competencies. The B will be to complete a complete module, but it will not be necessary to complete this training, but it will be possible to obtain this level by accumulating different courses from group A. Level C will be several modules that lead to obtaining a Professional Certificate and may involve internships in companies .
The D and the E: Training Cycles and Professional Master
Grade D encompasses the current Training Cycles: Basic FP -for those over 15 years old-, Middle Grade -which is equivalent to Baccalaureate- and Higher Degree -which is equivalent to University-. The FP and the Middle Degree continue in two years, which are 2,000 hours, and the Superior can go up to three.
Finally, level E is about specialization courses to obtain the Professional Master’s degree. They may be offered in second-grade secondary education – intermediate grade cycles – as well as in higher education. These master’s degrees will be modular and will last between 300 and 800 hours, less than the university ones.
Intermodular project, electives and modules
While in Basic FP an intermodular project will be carried out throughout the cycle, in middle and higher grades it will be carried out one a year with a duration of 25 hours and the objective of integrating the knowledge acquired.
An optional part made up of modules will also be included to adapt to the productive reality of the territory and the interests of the student, in a similar way to university degrees. With the same objective, that of adapting to the needs and circumstances of the students, professional training for grades C, D and E may be offered by modules for people over 18 years of age and, exceptionally, for adults with “work experience that do not have the conditions established for access to training “.
Relationship between FP and University
The law aims to establish relationships between professional training and university education, so that students from both tracks can switch to the other to complement their training, thus recognizing the knowledge acquired in the different itineraries. Graduate students in FP will be able to validate up to 25% of the credits of a similar degree.
Duality from level C
Companies will have a greater role and decision-making capacity in the new FP. Thus, from grade C on, the FP levels will have a dual character: they increase the hours of internships in companies and the role of companies in designing the training and evaluation of students. In this way, the training offered in the centers will be adjusted to what the companies demand. The companies will also participate, together with the centers, in the “distribution of the curricular contents”.
Dual company tutor
This figure will be mandatory in each company that offers internships to students. It will be a link between the company and the center, and will coordinate with the teacher in charge the student’s training plan. The tutor will also evaluate the student’s acquired learning through a report on the practices carried out, although the final evaluation will be the responsibility of the educational center.
The centers are offered the possibility “in an exceptional way” to turn to “specialist” professors, similar to the associate professors of the University: professionals who offer a very specific training linked to their work area and who will be able to travel to the center of vocational training.
Technical professionals disappear
The body of technical professionals is divided into two profiles: those with a university degree and those without. Most of the former will be able to promote, increasing their salary and potential career development. For the second group, Education will create its own category with ten specialties (cooking and pastry; aesthetics; manufacture and installation of carpentry and furniture; vehicle maintenance; machining and maintenance of machines; pattern making and clothing; hairdressing; production of graphic arts; services restoration; and welding).
A third group is also contemplated, that of technical professors without a university degree, who are left out of any of these ten specialties and who are considered a body to be extinguished. In the same way, the possibility of a fourth group is opened, “those that, for teaching in certain specialties, are determined by regulation after consulting the autonomous communities”.
Accreditation of competencies and orientation
Another important asset of the new FP law is to officially accredit the skills that workers have acquired in their respective companies. These documents will be accompanied by a proposal so that the worker can continue training.
Likewise, it is intended to create a “flexible and free” career guidance system for individuals, companies and institutions in order to advise on VET offers that fit the different profiles of students and job demands.