The Association of Vocational Training Centres FPEmpresa has participated this thursday 26th of october in the seminary on ‘International Cooperation and Internationalization of Higher Education’, organized by the International Centre for Cultural Communication of Malaysia (ICCCM) and held at the installations of the PGRI Yogyakarta University (UPY) in Indonesia. Representing FPEmpresa was Carlos de Olagüe, FPEmpresa’s Madrid and International Coordinator, as well as the director of IES Pedro de Tolosa.

The aim of this meeting was to foster collaboration between educational institutions and organisations to promote the internationalisation of Higher Education in Indonesia through the development of projects, as well as to share good practices of educational centres.

Celebration of ITEA’s new office in Indonesia

The event, which was inaugurated by Ir Paiman, rector of the UPY, highlighted the need to continue fostering relations between social and educational agents in order to establish various academic programmes that guarantee a good impact and benefits for students at an international level.

For his part, Carlos de Olagüe explained the work of FPEmpresa during his speech at the round table on ‘International Cooperation: challenges, problems and solutions’, highlighting its strength in creating a network between educational centres to promote vocational training in Spain. “There are more than 600 VET schools in the Association, which means that we continue to be a great reference point for change and progress in the VET system”, said de Olagüe.

Finally, the attendees celebrated the inauguration of the new office of the International Transnational Education Association (ITEA) in Indonesia. ITEA is a platform supported by ICCCM to promote higher education exchanges between countries around the world through the organisation of educational, cultural and scientific events.

“It is undoubtedly very important to be present at meetings of this nature, especially for FPEmpresa, as it is a great opportunity to continue transmitting the activity and values of the association beyond our borders”, concluded the FPEmpresa’s Madrid and International Coordinator.

About ICCCM

The International Centre for Cultural Communication Malaysia (ICCCM) was first established in Malaysia in 2009 to meet the needs of international cultural exchange programmes and to assume its role as a “well-developed” centre. In this way, the organisation has been described as the pioneer of internationalisation on the Asian continent. In addition, ICCCM maintains partnerships with various international organisations, governmental and private agencies, companies and academic institutes around the world to develop numerous educational programmes.

The Association of Vocational Training Centres FPEmpresa brings together since this week more than 600 associated centres. The associated centres are distributed throughout all the autonomous communities, which makes the Association the largest meeting point for working together in the field of Vocational Training.

Since the birth of the Association, its evolution has focused on boosting synergies between VET centres and other entities such as public administrations, companies and foundations. It is worth remembering that the origin of the Association is to be found in an innovation project of the Ministry of Education. At the end of that project, in 2012, the centres involved decided to continue working as a network.   From there, FPEmpresa was born and since then, they have been working to create a collaborative space where they can always work in favour of Vocational Education and Training.

“In FPEmpresa our centres join forces to develop new projects. It is an excellent meeting point to participate in relevant VET calls, such as those of the Ministry of Education and VET, CaixaBank Dualiza, among others”, said Luis García Domínguez, president of FPEmpresa.

On the other hand, the Association has also become the voice that represents vocational training centres before different social agents. “If each centre were to express its perspective on VET individually to the Public Administrations, it would most likely remain in the background. Therefore, it is very important to join forces and for our requests and suggestions to go further and further,” said García Domínguez.

Likewise, FPEmpresa continues to be committed to internationalisation. Being 600 centres helps the organisation’s voice to be heard more attentively in Europe, both through projects and through its involvement in international organisations, such as EfVET, WFCP and SEPIE.

“Without a doubt, belonging to FPEmpresa means belonging to the largest network of VET centres that can exist in our country. Our collaborative network aims to continue to be the catalyst for change and progress in the VET system,” said the president of FPEmpresa.

Major changes in the internal organisation chart of FPEmpresa

Ensuring that the Association grows in membership every year is an important task in order to continue to promote VET, but it is also important that it evolves internally. Thus, FPEmpresa has increased the number of members on the Board of Directors, increasing the number of deputy secretaries and ensuring that there is one member for each autonomous community. For the evolution of the Association, the dedication of all the members of the Board is key, as without their dedication and effort, many of the initiatives that are currently being carried out would not be viable.

The growth of FPEmpresa has also been supported by important collaborators. One of the most important, without a doubt, has been the support received from CaixaBank Dualiza. The joint work of both entities has resulted in the implementation of important initiatives for Vocational Training.

The Association of Vocational Training Centres FPEmpresa has participated in the eighth PLA (Peer Learning Activity) of the European project PRALINE (Promoting Adult Learning in Networks) which was held on 2 and 3 October 2023 in Zagreb (Croatia). On this occasion, the organisation Hrvatsko Andragosko Drustvo was in charge of holding the meeting at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce and Crafts.

The conference focused on the educational system of the Croatian country, as well as the functioning of vocational training and the actions carried out to promote adult education in the country. During the presentation of these topics, the various speakers presented their various measures for dissemination and support for adults to access these studies.

Itana Bukovac, head of the Adult Education Department at the Public Open University Samobor, gave an example of good practice in this type of education at her educational institution, as well as the dissemination activities that are carried out.

Participants who also shared their perspectives on the strategy for promoting adult learning at regional level included Nives Nvak, Head of the Lifelong Learning Development Section at The Agency for Vocational Education and Training and Adult Education, and Hrvoje Jelen and Danijel Dekic, Regional Coordinators for the Promotion of Adult Education at Zagreb Craft College, among others.

Croatia bets on VET as a solution to unemployment

One of the most important topics of the conference was the commitment to vocational training as a key tool for inserting the country’s unemployed into the labour market. Thus, Kristina Mazalin, senior expert advisor of the Department of Vocational Guidance and Education of the Central Office of the Employment Service in Croatia, explained in detail the actions carried out to improve the qualifications of unemployed people in order to obtain employment opportunities.

After the conclusion of the conference programme, as was done in previous ALMPs, the PRALINE partners met to share their points of view and to encourage a debate to find new ideas among them.

Finally, the European partners will meet again in the ninth and last ALMP in the Netherlands, where a final conference will be organised in December to close the project and will be organised by MBO Raad, the project’s coordinating association.

“From FPEmpresa, we are committed to networking and the exchange of ideas. The joint work that is born in each of the meetings that we have within the PRALINE project produces a series of results that aim to establish recommendations on VET at European level”, concluded Elena Argudo, Director of Communication and Projects of FPEmpresa.

PRALINE is an Erasmus+ funded project that aims to strengthen and boost international networks of adult education providers already in operation by learning about good practice.

The Association of Vocational Training Centres FPEmpresa and Esprinet Group have delivered this June of 29th the II Awards for Knowledge Transfer in VET at the headquarters of Esprinet Group in Madrid. An event in which IES Javier García Téllez, IES Federica Montseny and IES Lázaro Cárdenas have collected their respective awards of the II Edition of the contest.

Representing FPEmpresa was the vice-president-treasurer of the Association, Tomás Alonso, who congratulated the participants and thanked the Esprinet Group for its collaboration.

“Initiatives of this kind help us to continue growing and to improve our commitment to vocational training, especially for those qualifications where the presence of women is scarce”, said Tomás Alonso.

Also among the attendees were Javier Bilbao-Goyoaga, president of V-Valley Advanced Solutions; Begoña Huerta, HR and Quality Director at V-Valley Advanced Solutions; Silvia Sánchez, head of Marketing and Communication at the Esprinet Group, among others.

“I congratulate you for your hard work in getting this far and for visiting us on this special occasion. We are very happy to collaborate with FPEmpresa to launch initiatives like this, as it is very important, together with young people, to improve the quality of technological education and their preparation for the labour market”, said Bilbao-Goyoaga.

A recognition that helps to develop their professional skills

The winning schools thanked the organisers for all the work they have done. For her part, Marta Barroso, teacher and head of the ‘LlezzHands’ project, which won first prize, said that “this honour is a recognition, above all, for the students. In technology degrees it is difficult to find a greater number of female students, so I am grateful for the commitment and effort of my students”.

At the end of the meeting, all the attendees were able to visit the new facilities of the Esprinet Group, where they were able to see each of the departments of the entity, as well as the different work spaces that the employees have.

Collaboration between FPEmpresa and Esprinet Group

The VET Knowledge Transfer Awards are the result of the collaboration between FPEmpresa and the Esprinet Group signed in 2021 to make female talent visible in those professional families of VET where the presence of women is testimonial.

After the success of the first edition in 2022 with 300 participants, both entities have renewed the collaboration agreement to launch the second edition of the competition, which has attracted more than 450 participants and a total of 78 initiatives.

The Association of Vocational Training Centres FPEmpresa has attended the celebration of the final gala of the XI edition of GIRA Jóvenes Coca-Cola at the Coca-Cola offices in Madrid. A new delivery of the project of entrepreneurship and support for youth employability that, on this occasion, has been carried out with the participation of FPEmpresa and its 28 associated centres. In total, 673 young people from 23 cities and towns throughout Spain participated in the 2023 edition.

A gala that brought together the 8 finalist groups from intermediate and advanced vocational training centres from all over Spain, where an expert jury evaluated their initiatives and selected the winners of the final round.

Among those attending the competition were Yolanda González, Deputy Director General of Vocational Training at the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training, and Carmen Gómez-Acebo, Director of Sustainability at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners Iberia, who highlighted “the work of the members of all the participating teams”.

“Our goal is that you really believe that you are true agents of change within the environments in which you are, because you have the talent and creativity to be so. We are also very proud to give you everything we can in your long personal and professional journey,” Gómez-Acebo told the young people.

“This final is the culmination of the incredible work of the teachers who have been involved in this project and, of course, the involvement of the students who have participated in a very enriching experience,” said Elena Argudo, director of Communication and Projects at FPEmpresa.

IES Pedro Jiménez Montoya and IES Ciudad Escolar, winners of the 11th edition of the competition

The 8 schools that have positioned themselves as finalists in the competition were the following: in the rural category were IES Valle de Camargo (Cantabria), IES María Ibars (Denia), EFA Oretana (Castilla-La Mancha) and IES Pedro Jiménez Montoya (Andalusia). The urban category was won by Politeknika Ikastegia Txorierri (Basque Country), Institut d’hoteleria i Turisme de Barcelona EHTB (Barcelona), IES Ciudad Escolar (Madrid) and IES Pino Montano (Andalusia).

Finally, the IES Pedro Jiménez Montoya, together with the students of the Higher Degree in Sociocultural and Tourism Animation, has been proclaimed the winner of the rural category with ‘Regala memoria’, a challenge based on the reintegration of the elderly of Baza (Andalusia) and of those people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias who are in residential homes. To achieve this, the use of recycled computer material is proposed to help improve the cognitive training of these people.

For its part, the IES Ciudad Escolar, with the students of the Higher Degree in Web Applications Development, has won the urban area with ‘In search of the SDGs through the time machine’. This initiative seeks to raise awareness and teach about the SDGs to children at risk of social exclusion through a summer camp themed on the History of Humanity and its relationship with the SDGs.

Gira Jóvenes as an improvement in youth employability

GIRA Jóvenes is a training and employability programme that, since 2012, has been promoting the personal and professional development of young people aged 16 to 26 throughout Spain. Its main purpose is to help them prepare for the world of work.

For this reason, the entity has counted on the collaboration of FPEmpresa, whose associated centres have been, exclusively, the participants of the contest in this edition. “From the Association we continue to work to be the meeting point between companies that want to commit to VET and the associated VET centres, GIRA Jóvenes is a clear example of this”, added Argudo.

This call is divided into different phases, from the recruitment of participants and various training sessions to the development of projects and the final selection of the winners. So far, more than 7,200 young people, 350,000 hours of training and 790 paid professional experiences have been achieved with Gira Jóvenes.

The Association of Vocational Training Centres FPEmpresa organised the Ordinary General Assembly 2023 this Thursday, 15 June, at the Ilunion facilities in Madrid. The meeting was held in a hybrid format, so that members were able to attend in person and follow it via streaming. The Association’s Permanent Secretary thanked those present and the 90 people who followed the event online for their attendance.

The Assembly was opened by Joaquín Leizaola, General Manager of Ilunion Formación, who expressed his gratitude for hosting this event. “We are very grateful to be part of FPEmpresa and, of course, we are delighted to introduce you to Ilunion, a special entity that belongs to the ONCE social group, and where we also present our honours to VET”, said Leizaola.

New additions to the Permanent Board

After watching the corporate video of Ilunion, the president of FPEmpresa, Luis García, intervened to start the Extraordinary Assembly where the modifications of the statutes were contemplated and gave way to the respective votes. “Today we have more than 560 centres associated to FPEmpresa, which means an increase in the demands on FPEmpresa and that it has the task of continuing to improve. This is why we have decided to increase the number of members of the Permanent Board, proposing 2 vice-secretaries”, said Luis.

In this way, Luis Jesús, FPEmpresa’s coordinating member in Andalusia, and María José Fernández, the Association’s coordinating member in Asturias, will become the new members of the Permanent Board, giving support as vice-secretaries.

Following the vote at the Extraordinary Assembly, the members voted in favour, which led to the approval of the proposed changes. At the Ordinary Assembly, the secretary of FPEmpresa, Sergio San Martín, presented and explained every detail of the FPEmpresa Activities Report. This report is a document that allows the members of FPEmpresa to know in depth all the activities carried out by the Association.

Likewise, the presentation of activities shows a constant increase in the number of initiatives in which FPEmpresa is present, highlighting among all of them the close collaboration with CaixaBank Dualiza. Together with its strategic ally, several key actions have been carried out, such as the VET Congress, the Dualiza Call, the Active Guidance Call and the EmpleaFP job bank.

Likewise, the activities document shows the Association’s constant commitment to internationalisation, joining different associations and international projects in order to share and extend its objectives and fundamental values.

FPEcompany committed to the SDGs

Afterwards, the Assembly continued with the explanation of the new Strategic Plan 2022-2025, the Closing 2022, the Budget 2023, the Congress document and the Action Plan 2023/2024. During the presentation of the action plan, Sergio San Martín explained the objectives and actions that FPEmpresa will carry out in order to continue to become the benchmark VET Association. Among them, FPEmpresa’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) stands out. “We must ask ourselves how we want our activities to impact the SDGs. Obviously, we must continue to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs, so we have identified 8 goals that will be related to each of our strategic lines,” said the secretary of the Association.

Likewise, FPEmpresa will continue to work to be the meeting point for all VET actors and to become a reference for companies and public institutions, in order to promote projects that provide added value. Furthermore, the aim is to promote the culture of innovation through agreements with technological entities. Finally, the focus will be on STEAM-related initiatives.

To conclude the event, the Permanent Board announced the approval of all the documents and proposals of the Ordinary Assembly.

The Association of Vocational Training Centres FPEmpresa attended on 15 and 16 June the meeting on ‘Learning and Digital Transition’ in Thessaloniki (Greece) organised by Cedefop and OECD. Carlos de Olagüe, EfVET’s representative in Spain, participated as a speaker on behalf of the Association. The event brought together policy makers, social partners, practitioners and researchers from different countries to explore the links between apprenticeships and the digital transition, as well as their implications for policy making.

The agenda of the event covered topics such as: the demand for digital skills, digital tools for schools and businesses, as well as learning about international policy and practice.

Digitalisation as a new form of learning

Carlos de Olagüe, together with other European figures, took part in the presentation on the ‘Perspectives of the protagonists regarding digitalisation’ to discuss the role of learning in the digital transition and the challenges and opportunities that this entails for VET centres.

Olagüe said that digitalisation applied in educational centres in Spain is working very well. “We have the case of Iberdrola’s Digital Community, which is available to all FPEmpresa members”, stressed the EfVET representative in Spain.

Likewise, the FPEmpresa’s international coordinator highlighted the functioning of the Immersive Classroom of IES Luis Vives (Madrid), as well as the Association’s collaboration with IndesIA. “This agreement with IndesIA allows companies, such as Microsoft, to transfer their experience with Artificial Intelligence to vocational training centres”, he said.

“It is undoubtedly very important to attend meetings of this nature, especially for FPEmpresa. It is a great opportunity to transmit all the activity of the Association, as well as to show the work that is being done for VET in Spain”, concluded FPEmpresa’s Madrid and international coordinator.

The Association of Vocational Training Centres FPEmpresa has attended on 26th and 27th June the event ‘High Level European Alliance for Apprenticeship’ in Brussels (Belgium) organised by the European Alliance for Apprenticeship Training (EAfA), a body that belongs to the European Commission and of which FPEmpresa is a member.

FPEmpresa was represented by Carlos de Olagüe, the Member Coordinator for Madrid and International, who also represents EfVET in Spain. This meeting, which could also be followed online, aimed to bring together all EAfA members to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Alliance, which was launched in 2013 and currently unites 39 countries across Europe.

“These types of events are not only interesting, but also help us to learn and improve every day. Undoubtedly, all the issues that have been addressed in this meeting are essential to continue promoting VET beyond our borders”, said Carlos de Olagüe.

Likewise, this meeting has promoted and strengthened apprenticeships as a key to provide skills linked to the needs of companies, as well as providing employment-oriented skills for young people and adults.

Apprenticeships as a means to ensure skilled employees

The agenda of the event covered topics such as: the quality and effectiveness of VET in Europe, the importance of apprenticeships for skilled employees, apprentices as agents for a sustainable future, among other issues.

Finally, EAfA members have promoted an additional meeting called ‘Get Together’ in the afternoon of 27 June. The aim of this event was to give Alliance partners the opportunity to network, explore opportunities for cooperation and share best practices with each other.

FPEmpresa, member of the EAfA since 2021

The EAfA was created with the aim of strengthening the quality, supply and image of apprenticeship training in Europe, and to encourage mobility of apprentices. The achievement of these two objectives is therefore promoted through national and voluntary commitments.

To improve the quality of apprenticeships in VET, FPEmpresa becomes one of the members of EAfA in 2021. Since then, the Association has actively participated in its events, such as The voice of apprentices in the European Year of Youth 2022, held in Barcelona, and now with the 10th anniversary of the EAfA.

The 2nd edition of the VET Knowledge Transfer Awards of the Association of Vocational Training Centres FPEmpresa and Esprinet Group announces the 3 winning projects of the challenge. IES Javier García Téllez (Cáceres), IES Federica Montseny (Valencia) and IES Lázaro Cárdenas (Madrid) have won the first three prizes, valued at 12,000 euros, which will go to the centres, teachers and students.

A total of 78 teams have participated in this challenge, whose main objective is focused on developing STEAM skills, as well as raising awareness and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In this way, the participants have recreated problem scenarios and devised a technological solution that contributes to achieving at least one of the SDGs and also promotes gender equality, which corresponds to SDG 5.

In addition, more than 450 people from the Region of Murcia, Andalusia, Aragon, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y León, the Basque Country, the Canary Islands, Cantabria, Valencia, Extremadura, Madrid, Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and the Principality of Asturias have joined this competition with the aim of developing among VET students key skills and abilities to train competitive professionals, as well as learning technical skills.

Evaluation Criteria

With regard to the evaluation criteria of the 78 participants, the jury took into account the capacity for critical thinking to question different approaches in the search for the best solution; the improvement of technical skills in areas related to the participating professional families and, finally, the innovative spirit, proactivity and teamwork as essential values to help in the constant improvement of products and services of the companies.

Among the winning projects, the following professional families stand out: Electricity and Electronics, Chemistry, Environmental Health and IT and Communications. However, other professional families also participated in the competition, such as Safety and Environment, Transport and Vehicle Maintenance (TMV), Energy and Water, Agriculture, Mechanical Manufacturing and Installation and Maintenance.

In addition, another feature that has proved to be fundamental in this second edition is the 47 female teachers who have been coordinators of the projects presented. In this way, the aim of making female talent visible in those professional families where its presence is testimonial is achieved.

Winners of the 2nd edition

IES Javier García Téllez (Secondary School) in Cáceres has won the first prize with its project “LlezzHands”, led by the teacher Marta Barroso Rodríguez together with the students of the Higher Degree in Electrotechnical and Automated Systems. This initiative focuses on a village in Cambodia where more than half of the population are women and minors. However, one of the main problems of the population is landmines, which cause deaths and amputations. Therefore, the project aims to develop mobile prostheses for all inhabitants of Cambodia. It will be made using 3D printers and organic materials, such as PLA, which comes from potato and corn starch.

The second prize went to IES Federica Montseny in Valencia with its project “GoodalTech”, a proposal led by teacher Elisa Adell Sales and the 1st year Chemistry and Environmental Health group. The aim of this project is to improve the labour inclusion of women in the STEAM area.

Finally, the IES Lázaro Cárdenas Secondary School in Madrid came in third place with its project “Zeri (Seed)”, led by teacher Carolina Sobrón San Martín and the 2nd year students of the Higher Degree in Multiplatform Applications Development. This idea focuses on “planting” a seed of equality and prosperity in villages in underdeveloped countries and, therefore, eliminating the gender gap in access to technology.

To see all the projects in this edition, you can do so by clicking here.

The Association of Vocational Training Centres FPEmpresa has participated in the seventh PLA (Peer Learning Activity) of the European project PRALINE (Promoting Adult Learning in Networks) that has been held on 22nd and 23rd May in Helsinki (Finland). On this occasion, the AMKE organisation was in charge of organising the conference, which was held at the Taitotalo educational centre.

The conference focused on the educational system of the Finnish country, as well as the functioning of Vocational Training. The different speakers explained the different training options available to students, as well as the possibility of personalising their study itineraries.

In addition, the theme of VET as a solution to unemployment was addressed, with Annukka Jamisto, Director of Services and Adwoa Brewun, Business Coordinator at Omnia, explaining possible solutions to help immigrants in the country to train and get a job.

Among the participants who also shared their perspectives on the Finnish education system and the commitment to work-based learning were Marika Koski, teacher at Sataedu; Matti Isokallio, Director of the Education and Training Consortium at Sataedu; Minna Sandberg, International Coordinator at Spesia, a special VET institution; Saara Ikkelä, Senior Specialist at the Ministry of Education and Culture and Keijo Honkonen, Deputy Director of the Taitotalo Centre.

One of the main themes of the conference was to continue to work on the fact that young people and adults can learn together, as half of the VET students are between 20 and 60 years old. In this way, both age groups can complement each other in terms of knowledge and professional and personal experience.

After having concluded the presentation of the days, as it was done in the six previous ALMPs, the PRALINE partners have met to explain their points of view and to motivate a debate to find new ideas on the subject among them.

Finally, the European partners will meet at the eighth ALMP in Croatia next October and will be organised by the Hrvatsko Andragosko Drustvo (HAD) association.

PRALINE is an Erasmus+ funded project that aims to strengthen and boost international networks of adult education providers already in operation by learning about good practice.