The IES Francisco Tomás y Valiente, an associated centre of FPEmpresa VET Schools Association, in collaboration with Orange Foundation, has developed a programme called GarageLab, a space envisioned as a workshop for digital innovation in which students can collaborate and develop their skills by learning how to use modern machines, discovering how to design 3D objects or using specific design software.

The project’s coordinator, Federico Salcines, stresses that one of the objectives of this program is to reduce the dropout rate among Basic Vocational Training students, via increasing their motivation and improving their skills, academic results and employability.

The participating students have been involved in the following projects within this programme: the creation of mechanical adapters for students with reduced mobility of the Princess Sofía Special Education public school, the collaboration with the students of the Hairdressing VET cycle of the IES Batán in Mieres (Asturias), or the creation of a business project.

According to the school principal of the IES Francisco Tomás y Valiente and vice-president-treasurer of FPEmpresa, Tomás Alonso: “this project represents an added boost to our innovation strategy and also a necessary support for these educational levels”. He adds that “it is also a commitment to improving the spaces, something that has indirectly caused a methodological change, as well as an integration of the different groups at these levels, since both first- and second-year Basic VET students can work together”. “We have observed a recovery of self-esteem among students and a notable reduction in absenteeism,” he concludes.

The project presentation was attended by the Mayor of Madrid, José Luis Martínez-Almeida and the CEO of Orange Spain, Jean François Fallacher, among other institutional figures.

For further information, have a look at the following video.