Today, the government approved the decree regulating integrated centers for vocational training, which are schools that will provide technical courses for students, workers and unemployed of all types and durations related to economic activity. Anyone, of any age, can go to an integrated center (specialized in an economic activity) and will receive guidance on the possibility of certifying their knowledge or studying from specific modules to a master’s degree in FP. These centers will be established as such in the academic year 2024-2025.
Catalonia was the only autonomous community that was not regulated in this aspect, which is one of the keys to the VT modernization promoted by the Spanish government. The aim is to “professionalize” a large part of the population that lacks formal studies, improve workers’ skills and promote technical training among young people. The courses, consisting of short, modular and cumulative learning units, are adapted to the needs of people at different times in their lives and to those of the productive sector.
The government ratifies the decree regulating the governance of these schools and provides for the establishment of about 40 schools
The regulation makes it possible to integrate the presentation of new methods of pedagogical training (initial FP) and vocational training (SOC courses) in the center. From Skills and Professionalism Certificates (people with experience, but without qualifications to endorse them), FP Intermediate and Higher Level Courses, Continuing Training and Specialization Courses (Masters FP).
The decree is a commitment of the government towards the social partners who signed an agreement in March to the date of this decree and a map of vocational education and training centers in Catalonia with offers linked to the needs of the productive fabric.
This map, which has suffered from constant delays in its calendar, and which will finally be presented in November, will be built together with employers and unions under the governing committee of the FPCat system and from the 2233 existing centers (Institutes and Centers Servei d’Ocupació de Catalunya).
The idea is to identify employment and training needs in the territory to help promote more effective mentoring.
Currently, the youth unemployment rate is 20% while the dropout rate is 16.9%. These numbers do not fit well with the shortage of technicians in the productive sectors and with the need to reduce the population without studies to the levels required by the European Union (from the current 28% to 15%).
That is why FPCat, the Presidency-accredited agency that integrates education and business, has set its goal of integrating 800,000 people into secondary studies before 2030, through skills credentials or through technical training.
The Presidency Department has set a goal of enrolling 800,000 people in secondary education by 2030
After the decree is approved, centers must choose their integrated status starting in September, and the administration will analyze and approve applications during the next academic year.
How will they be?
They will be centers, public or private, specialized in an economic activity typical of the region in which they are located or will have the character of applied arts. It is not excluded that they are newly constructed, although the government has not announced the construction of any new ones.
Most of the 40 general centers you wish to establish before the 2024-2025 academic year will be accomplished by converting existing centers. They will often be educational centers expanding their offer of studies for workers and the unemployed or will evaluate skills certificates.
Finance and regulation
However, the manner in which the expansion of the centers’ structure and the need to recruit new faculty members or skills assessors will be funded has not been specified. The institutes depend on the Department of Education which has a budget for their operation. It maintains buildings, covers repair and maintenance costs, laboratories and pays teachers. The Director reports to this department.
Job centers for their part depend on business management and work. Training courses for the unemployed and continuous training of workers are carried out there. The Employment Service of Catalonia is made up of entities, services and programs aimed at promoting and developing public employment policy.
The management of these centers will include the presence of employers, trade unions and municipalities.