The Association of Vocational Training Centres FPEmpresa has attended from 22th to 24th of May 2024 the meeting ‘The Event 2024’ in Brussels (Belgium), organised by EfVET, EVBB and EVTA to contribute to the reshaping of European VET. FPEmpresa was represented by Carlos de Olagüe, EfVET coordinator for Spain and member coordinator for Madrid and International of the Association.

This meeting brought together representatives of various educational institutions and organisations from all over Europe to discuss and share innovative strategies and best practices in the field of VET, as well as to lay the foundations for the formation of the European VET Alliance and to issue a common declaration of intent.

“Furthermore, this event has been an investment in building invaluable connections and partnerships that can drive real change. Through workshops, panel discussions and networking sessions, all stakeholders were able to share best practices and formulate strategies for change,” said Carlos de Olagüe.

Manifesto for VET

During the meeting, Olagüe highlighted the crucial role played by the association in supporting VET schools in Spain. In his speech, the coordinator of FPEmpresa in Madrid and International explained how FPEmpresa has provided resources, training and advice to the centres to improve the quality of education and the employability of students.

“FPEmpresa is a fundamental pillar for VET centres in Spain, providing them with the necessary support to adapt to the changes and challenges of the labour market. Our mission is to ensure that VET in Spain remains up to date, providing students with the skills and competences demanded by today’s companies,” said de Olagüe.

In addition, details were shared about the 10th VET Congress held in Seville, the central theme of which was guidance before, during and after training. With regard to the new trends and reforms in VET, Carlos de Olagüe highlighted the implementation of entrepreneurship and the digitalisation module as transversal training in competences, introduced in the new VET law.

To conclude the meeting, a manifesto signed by European training providers was presented, highlighting that VET has historically been seen as a secondary option in the education sector. Despite its importance, the first draft of the European Education Area for Education excluded VET.

“For this reason, the manifesto seeks to reverse the negative perception and lack of investment in VET, promoting policies that strengthen this fundamental sector for the economic and social development of Europe”, concluded Carlos de Olagüe.

To access the manifesto, please click here.

More than a thousand vocational training teachers and professionals filled the Palacio de Congresos y Exposiciones in Seville during the two days of the Vocational Training Congress organised by the association of FPEmpresa centres and CaixaBank Dualiza, with the collaboration of the Junta de Andalucía and the Fundación Orange.

The event, which celebrated its tenth edition, has established itself as one of the main references of Vocational Training at national level, addressing various topics that directly affect this training modality and the educational community.

On this occasion, career guidance was the theme chosen to lead the presentations, addressing not only the initial orientation, but also, as indicated by the president of FPEmpresa, Luis García, the importance of accompanying students during their studies and help them develop. personally and know the opportunities in the market. This congress focuses on that mission.

The director of CaixaBank Dualiza, Paula San Luis, recalled the work carried out by her entity to support educational centres in all initiatives aimed at promoting guidance, considering it a key pillar to promote the qualification of people in vocational training.

During her speech, Paula San Luis gave the floor to the Chairman of CaixaBank, José Ignacio Goirigolzarri, a staunch defender of vocational training, who took part in a video thanking the congress for being a meeting point for teachers, promoting the transfer of knowledge and acting as a driving force for innovation and a loudspeaker for the latest trends.

From the institutional level, the president of the Junta de Andalucía, Juan Manuel Moreno Bonilla, remarked that vocational guidance is the most useful tool to know the wide offer of the labour market, pointing out VET as a great conquest that represents the training and labour hope for several generations of young people and adults, being a niche of employability capable of energising the labour market as never before.

From the Ministry, the Secretary General for Vocational Training, Clara Sanz, insisted that “there will be no economic development or productive fabric if we do not achieve the vocational training that our country needs” and that “the great advance must be sought in consensus, in weaving alliances”.

All of this was the prelude to a series of presentations in which Clara Sanz herself, the Andalusian Regional Minister for Educational Development and Vocational Training, and the Deputy Minister for Vocational Training of the Basque Government, Jorge Arévalo, analysed the entry into force of the new Vocational Training Law and the challenges it will pose for teachers.

Arévalo himself defended the regulation because “it allows us to do what we want to do” and because “today’s centres have to be different; we cannot expect to enter centres that are the same as 50 years ago if we want to overcome the new challenges”.

He included this differentiation through new high-performance digital spaces or immersive digital spaces, which will facilitate the work of distance students and allow “if tomorrow we have a pandemic, the next day the students can continue working”.

The business part of the event heard the experience of the CEO of Ly Company Group, an Andalusian company with a turnover of more than 370 million euros, and the testimony of the former president of CICA, awarded for its commitment to VET and which has more than 50% of its staff coming from VET.

The students also had the opportunity to express themselves in a round table moderated by the Director of Innovation of the Chamber of Commerce of Seville, Ramón Bullón, in which Mónica Rufián, a student of Baking, Patisserie and Confectionery at the CIPFP Hurtado de Mendoza in Granada, advised those who decide their future: ‘Do not study only what has an outlet, because when you choose what you really want, you look for the opportunities yourself’.

All this took place at a congress where a roadmap was drawn up for where an ideal orientation should lead, and where the company should assume a part of this process through ‘a rapprochement between companies and education systems with specific agreements, moving away from big words’, according to the director of the Orange Foundation, Daniel Morales, who recalled that ‘when a student fails, it is not only an individual failure, but a failure of the system’.

In addition, all attendees had the opportunity to visit a number of educational centres located in Seville to learn about their organisation, the resources available and the strategies used to improve students’ education as much as possible.

For the programme of the 10th VET Congress, please click here.

The CaixaBank Dualiza and the Association of Vocational Training Centres FPEmpresa have selected the most outstanding projects from educational centres for their originality, content or impact in terms of encouraging students to take up vocational training.

Specifically, 28 ideas were selected from a total of 145 submitted throughout Spain. This figure represents a new record in the number of projects presented in this call, demonstrating the interest of educational centres in publicising their educational offer and Vocational Training. It also highlights the need for tools to carry out this purpose.

The interest aroused, in addition to the definitive application of the new Vocational Training Law planned for this year, has led to around ten projects incorporating specific actions related to the new regulations.

However, innovation is also gaining strength in many of the ideas presented, ranging from traditional open days to virtual visits to the centres, or the incorporation of robots that can provide all the information on vocational training to interested families.

Technology is gaining importance in many projects. Thus, it can be seen how, in order to promote farming families, the possibility of bringing a person closer to the formation of a honeycomb and the daily activity of bees is proposed, how the families of students are integrated into virtual or immersive realities, or how an Escape Room becomes an Escape Food to save the population from shortages by attracting new vocations.

At the same time, many are considering the option of approaching young people through social networks, either by using the tools provided by applications such as TikTok or by producing video podcasts to showcase the training on offer.

Getting closer to the reality of companies continues to be the main focus of many of the initiatives, whether through guided tours or meetings and open days.

In most of the initiatives, the gender gap is also addressed through measures to reduce it in strongly masculinised cycles. These include the creation of an application that allows young female students to get in touch with women who have studied technological professions and have developed in these professions.

In addition, projects aimed at primary school students have also been selected, as they lack the prejudices that may accumulate in other age groups and are more likely to receive activities that represent a first approach to vocational training. Once again, the majority of the projects received came from public schools, 71%, compared to 23% from state-subsidised schools and barely 6% from private schools.

Curiously, two of the vocational families that receive most demand, such as Administration and Management and Computer Science and Communications, are also the two with the highest concentration of these guidance projects.

The Guidance Call is a project launched by CaixaBank Dualiza and FPEmpresa with the aim of supporting educational centres in their work to raise awareness of vocational training among students who are in the process of deciding their academic future. In its five editions, around 120 educational centres have taken part through around one hundred projects that have had an impact on thousands of students.

To see the list of selected projects in this new edition, you can access through this link.

The Association of Vocational Training Centres FPEmpresa and CaixaBank Dualiza are organising the 10th VET Congress under the title “Know. Decide. Act. The challenge of Vocational Training Guidance”. The event will take place on 25th and 26th of April at the Fibes | Palacio de Congresos y Exposiciones de Sevilla. In addition, the congress has the collaboration of the Junta de Andalucía and the participation of Fundación Orange.

Nowadays, society faces the challenge of guaranteeing a correct professional orientation not only for students, but also for families, workers, unemployed people and companies. The definition of mechanisms that facilitate this guidance is essential to forge a successful educational and working future. Furthermore, it is advocated that vocational training centres should become benchmarks in guidance, qualification and re-qualification of people.

Faced with this challenge, the 10th VET Congress is presented as a space for reflection and a meeting point for experts, institutional representatives, and professionals from the educational and business spheres to address the challenge of guidance.

The president of FPEmpresa, Luis García Domínguez, assures that “in the framework of this Congress, we reaffirm once again our commitment to the continuous improvement of vocational guidance in our country. This event is key to share experiences, explore innovative solutions and strengthen collaboration between companies and VET centres. Together, we are working to continue promoting vocational training as a driver of development and progress in our society”.

For her part, the director of CaixaBank Dualiza, Paula San Luis, was pleased that “this congress has managed to become an annual reference for the whole world of VET, making it a fixed date for hundreds of teachers who come to learn about the latest trends in VET, but also to make contact with professionals from other educational centres with the same concerns to continue promoting the world of VET”.

The importance of orientation towards VET in the educational and working environment

During the event, different presentations will be given by Clara Sanz, Secretary General for Vocational Training of the Ministry of Education, Vocational Training and Sports; Patricia del Pozo, Andalusian Regional Minister for Educational Development and Vocational Training, and Jorge Arévalo, Deputy Minister for Vocational Training in the Basque Country.

In addition, the congress will be attended by international representatives, such as Irene Psifidou from CEDEFOP and Pablo Nardi, director of EfVET, to address the situation of VET guidance and career guidance at European level.

The 10th VET Congress will include visits to Andalusian VET schools and several round tables to discuss innovative strategies to improve guidance in VET schools, effective collaboration between the education and business sector, as well as the vital role of VET in the qualification and re-qualification of people.

All those interested in Vocational Education and Training can participate in the 10th VET Congress by registering at the following link.

For more information about the congress or additional details about the programme, please click here.

The Association of Vocational Training Centres FPEmpresa and Esprinet Group announce the III edition of the VET Knowledge Transfer Awards, which aims to highlight female talent in those vocational training professional families where the female presence is testimonial. This call is aimed at any public, subsidised or private educational centre that is associated with FPEmpresa.

The call, which has brought together more than 750 participants in total in the 2022 and 2023 editions, returns to promote female talent in vocational training cycles in which there is a low representation of women. VET students will be able to develop key skills and abilities to become competitive professionals.

To date, more than 90 projects have participated in the VET Transfer Awards with innovative ideas related to the 2030 Agenda. All proposals have shown their commitment to moving towards societies with inclusive economic growth, greater cohesion and social justice, peace and a sustainable environmental horizon.

From 15th of March to 10th of April in 2024, each team will devise a technological solution that contributes to achieving at least one of the SDGs and also promotes gender equality, which corresponds to SDG 5.

Likewise, this year’s edition will place a positive value on the participating teams’ ability to make their proposals as visible as possible using social networks. The aim is to make the ideas contributed by the teams known to as many people as possible and to highlight the presence of women in the participating training cycles.

To this end, the VET Knowledge Transfer Awards will promote the commitment of FPEmpresa’s partner centres to the challenges established by the United Nations (UN).

Finally, the three winners of the challenge will be awarded with a financial prize of 5.500, 4.000 and 2.500 euros, respectively. The winning teams will be announced on 31st of May in 2024.

FPEmpresa

Since its constitution in 2012, FPEmpresa is a non-profit association that brings together public, private and subsidised Vocational Training Centres from all over Spain. In the same line, it contributes to create a network of centres able to share experiences, projects that want to develop and enhance the Vocational Training System of this country.

FPEmpresa aims to give prominence to Vocational Training in the education system and to strengthen relations between the centres and their environment. The commitment between Vocational Training Centres and companies makes it possible to improve the educational offer for vocational training students and the pathways to integration into the labour market.

In 2019, the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training awarded the Plaque of Honour of the Civil Order of Alfonso X the Wise to the Association for promoting VET through collaboration between centres, the exchange of experiences and good practices.

Esprinet

Esprinet is an enabler of the technological ecosystem that, with a strong vocation for environmental and social sustainability, promotes technological democracy. With a complete offer of consulting, IT security, services and products for sale or rent through a wide network of professional distributors, Esprinet is the leading group in Southern Europe (Italy, Spain and Portugal), ranks fourth in Europe and is among the top ten worldwide.

With more than 1800 employees and a turnover of 4.7 billion in 2022, Esprinet (PRT:IM – ISIN IT0003850929) is listed on the Italian Stock Exchange.

The Association of Vocational Training Centres FPEmpresa maintains its commitment to internationalisation. FPEmpresa has attended the first face-to-face meeting of the European project SiT – Sustainability in TCLF on 21-22th of February of 2024 at the premises of IHK Leipzig (Germany).

This initiative, coordinated by ITKAM – Italian Chamber of Commerce for Germany, is part of the Erasmus+ Innovation Alliance funding programme and will run until 31 January 2027. In addition, the SiT project involves 15 partners from 8 European Union (EU) countries: Germany, Italy, Spain, Greece, Bulgaria, Croatia and Slovakia.

One of its objectives is to promote innovation in education, training and the textile, clothing, leather and footwear sector. Therefore, the European project focuses on the potential of the green transition and the development of new training modules in educational institutions to address green skills gaps.

European companies in the textile sector require technical profiles with digital and green skills

In the first part of the meeting, the project participants presented their roles and the activities they carry out in each entity they represent. Afterwards, an analysis of the green skills required by companies in the textile, clothing, leather and footwear sector was carried out, together with a study of emerging professions with advanced knowledge in sustainability. In addition, ITKAM presented the administrative management of the SiT project and explained how the European partners should carry out the implementation of the project.

FPEmpresa explained its role in the European project. The Association will be in charge of Work Package 4, which involves the development of a MOOC focused on promoting the acquisition of various functional, transversal, digital and green competences. This MOOC aims to enhance the development of students and professionals in the textile sector. Furthermore, FPEmpresa has detailed the initial process that will be followed to implement the MOOC, as well as the informative aspects related to the training, such as the access process, duration and content, among others.

During the second part of the meeting, the other partners presented their contributions to the SiT project, while the Chamber of Commerce of Padua shared the dissemination and communication plan of the work. At the end of the session, several meetings have been scheduled to discuss the next activities of the project, in order to meet the implementation objectives of the European SiT project.

The Association of Vocational Training Centres FPEmpresa has attended on 30-31 of January in 2024 the first face-to-face meeting of the European project ENNEPlus – Enhancing VET National Networks Through Ecoinnovation at the All Digital office in Brussels (Belgium).

This project is the successor of the previous ENNEPlus project and will run from 2024 to 2026. The aim of ENNEPlus is to enhance the capacity of VET providers to contribute to transformative and sustainable change in their local communities through networking, capacity building and challenge-based activities in the field of eco-innovation.

The project meeting was led by Egina (International Academy of European Fellowships), the project coordinator in Italy, and was attended by the other European partners, including WKO Steiermark and FH Joanneum from Austria; EfVET and All Digital from Belgium; Sereco from Italy; Innogestiona from Spain; and Apemeta and Arts & Skills from Portugal.

Empowering European VET networks through Eco-innovation

During the first session, participants learned about the specific objectives of the project and the work plan that will be followed during the process. In addition, the main dates of meetings and work deadlines were established, and the Social Hackathon, which will take place in Umbria (Italy) from 4 to 7 July 2024, was presented.

Afterwards, FHJoanneum presented the studies of its educational institution, the projects in which it participates and the different learning scenarios. Innogestiona explained their environmental role and how they approach their management and community participation in the ENNEPlus project.

During the second session, Egina presented the administrative management of the ENNEPlus project and explained how partners should present their activities. Subsequently, FHJoanneum showed the steps of the excellence assurance plan and the next tasks related to it, while EfVET shared the dissemination and communication plan of the work.

To conclude the meeting, the partners participated in the last activity, divided by countries to discuss other possible actors that could join the local actions. They also shared their social networks and told the partners about the activities and projects carried out by each of the organisations.

The Association of Vocational Training Centres FPEmpresa has attended the meetings of the Executive Management of EfVET held on 18th and 19th of January at the Escola de Comércio de Lisboa (Portugal). FPEmpresa was represented by Carlos de Olagüe, EfVET coordinator for Spain and member coordinator for Madrid and International of the Association.

The day’s agenda included discussions on various topics such as: policy, conferences, financing, projects and teamworks. However, one of the most important topics on the agenda was the preparation of the next EfVET 2024 Conference, which will take place on 24-25th of October in Amersfoot, the Netherlands, as well as the presentation of several proposals on the theme of the EfVET 2025 Conference.

The EfVET team also carried out an evaluation of the EfVET 2023 Conference held in September 2023 in Rhodes, Greece. The Board members have highlighted those areas for improvement to be introduced in the next congresses and welcomed the activities that have been a success among the participants.

EfVET network increases with the addition of new members

During the meeting, the President of EfVET, James Calleja, welcomed the new representatives from Estonia and Norway, “highlighting the growth of the Organisation and the importance of having more perspectives that serve to enrich our reflections”, said the FPEmpresa Member Coordinator for Madrid and International.

After the EfVET members presented their work plan within the network, the Board of Directors established a new update of the EfVET Communication Plan, stressing the need to update the priority communication channels of each EfVET member.

To conclude the meeting, James Calleja has shared with the territorial coordinators the next dates and venue of the EfVET Board meetings, as well as the realization of different working groups to respond to their concerns regarding the next Conference.

“Once again, we thank our colleagues from Portugal for organising this event, which aims to promote Vocational Education and Training under European values. We continue to work for quality VET beyond our borders, and this is evidenced by activities of this nature”, concluded Carlos de Olagüe.

EFA La Malvesía (Valencia), a centre associated to the Association of Vocational Training Centres FPEmpresa, participates in the Circular Bricks project with the aim of contributing to the training and education of new generations about the circular bioeconomy. This project, co-financed by the European Commission through the Erasmus+ programme, will run until february of 2024 and involves the collaboration of VET centres and entities from Spain, Italy, Greece and Romania.

This initiative, led by the University of Rome Unitelma Sapienza, highlights the importance of education as a driver of change in the bioeconomy. “Through innovation and training in work and production processes, the bioeconomy can be consolidated as a key tool in the creation of new sustainable business models and in the fight against climate change”, has said Miguel Guasp, from the International Department of EFA La Malvesía.

To this aim, VET teachers in the agri-food sector will be trained through pedagogical materials. This will enable them to train students in the acquisition of green skills, essential for both current and future industries operating in the European circular bioeconomy.

A green and sustainable future

In december of 2023, EFA La Malvesía met in Italy with the rest of the team to present the results of the work generated by the students of the agri-food sector of the VET centres involved. These results have been very well received and valued by both the VET students and the technical committee of experts.

Moreover, during this meeting, the partners planned the final activities of the project and started the preparation of the final report to be presented at the Final Conference in Rome in february of 2024, marking the culmination of this European project.

“Our aim is to transform our students into real agents of change, and with this project we will achieve this. Without a doubt, this represents a new step forward in the internationalisation of the school and will contribute to improving the professional skills of both teachers and VET students at our school”, has concluded Miguel Guasp.

The Association of Vocational Training Centres FPEmpresa has participated in the last PLA (Peer Learning Activity) of the European project PRALINE (Promoting Adult Learning in Networks), held on 30th of november and 1st of december in Rotterdam (The Netherlands). An end of project organised by MBO Raad, the coordinating institution, which has collected all the previous work to present the results to the participants.

Three years after its inception, the Erasmus+ Key Action 3 in which FPEmpresa has participated has completed the face-to-face working sessions with the importance of digitisation and initiatives that pursue the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), among other topics.

During the sessions, the different speakers have presented solutions and good practices in Dutch VET, such as the improvement or retraining of workers’ skills. Likewise, Andesh Harnam, director of the Zadkine Logistics College, has explained the need to incorporate new technological trends in the development of professional skills, especially in Transport and Logistics training.

Other activities and farewell to the project

This last meeting has presented the different points of view of the participating organisations on the topics discussed during the previous sessions: establishing integration and learning strategies for immigrant students, promoting learning in the workplace and the incorporation of Artificial Intelligence and Automation in the digital skills of future professionals, among others. In this way, they have managed to establish some aspects to work on in each country, with the aim of transferring the policies to the EUproVET network.

At the end of the conference, the European partners have analysed the results and recommendations of the project through the ‘PRALINE Survey Report’ and have made a final evaluation of the last meeting as a conclusion of the European programme.

PRALINE has been presented as a project with the aim of strengthening and boosting European networks. By learning about good practices in Vocational education and training, FPEmpresa continues its work with the internationalisation of the Association and its associated centres.