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.

The Association of Vocational Training Centres FPEmpresa has attended the EfVET 2023 Annual Conference in Rhodes (Greece) from 25th to 28th October to work together with other European entities on the ecological transition. Representing FPEmpresa was Carlos de Olagüe, the Association’s Madrid and International coordinator, together with Tomás Alonso, vice-president of FPEmpresa.

Under the slogan ‘The VET agenda on future skills based on the green transition’, the event aimed to address the various facets of the green emergency and bring society together to share experiences and skills to help set an agenda for improving the VET ecosystem.

It is worth noting that the EfVET Annual Congress is held every year as a meeting point for Education and VET professionals from Europe, Asia and America. Thus, more than 300 delegates from different countries have come together in this edition to jointly devise actions to ensure education aligned with the green economy.

Programme

The meeting, which was opened by Joachim James, President of EfVET, included a wide range of interactive activities where EfVET members and delegates exchanged knowledge and good practices in the management of green initiatives by schools.

During his speech, Carlos de Olagüe also highlighted the work and commitment of Spanish VET centres in relation to Sustainability and Social Responsibility. For this reason, several green projects from the following FPEmpresa associated centres were presented as examples: IES Mencey Acaymo, IES Federica Montseny, CIFP Río Tormes, CIPFP Vicente Blasco Ibáñez, IES Pedro de Tolosa and CIFP Paseo das Pontes.

After knowing the date of the next congress, which will be in October 2024 in Amersfoort (The Netherlands), the event ended with a complementary agenda focused on leisure and cultural visits, with the aim of raising awareness of the educational and employment context of the country.

“As the national representative of EfVET and FPEmpresa, we are grateful for the organisation of this Assembly, which has allowed us to learn first-hand about the importance of continuing to update ourselves in digital and ecological matters in order to build quality education and VET”, concluded Carlos de Olagüe.

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 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 surpassed this 16th February the figure of 500 associated centres from all over Spain. This figure is significant for the organisation, as it means that FPEmpresa’s objectives are being met every day.

Since the Association was set up in 2012, it has been committed to giving a leading role to VET in the education system and strengthening relations between the centres and their environment, helping to generate a greater public presence of these in society. Furthermore, the commitment between vocational training centres and companies is essential to improve the educational offer of training cycles and the pathways to integration into the labour market.

Having reached the figure of 500 associated centres, FPEmpresa continues to work to improve VET every day and to ensure its future growth, because the more centres we have, the more authority the voice of the Association will have.

FPEmpresa believes that all the players involved in VET should maintain the efforts made in recent years to raise the profile of VET and, above all, to invest in resources for it. VET centres should be a point of guidance, training and accompaniment towards the labour market.

VET as the first educational option, the greatest challenge for FPEmpresa

With the new VET Law, many of the main objectives have become a reality. A path has begun on which, if the resources invested are sustained, it could become a new VET comparable to its EU neighbours

Given the daily growth in the number of members, our network is committed to VET as the first educational option, as well as being sufficient, free, flexible and accessible to everyone. FPEmpresa also works to bring VET closer to companies and social agents. It is the future of citizens, but also the future of a healthy society and economy.

CaixaBank Dualiza and the various projects with which it promotes vocational training

Over the last 10 years, the Association has organised various projects related to vocational training thanks to the collaboration with its strategic ally, CaixaBank Dualiza. Both entities have worked together to launch noteworthy projects, such as the Convocatoria de Ayudas Dualiza, which to date has launched six different editions; and the Convocatoria de Orientación Activa, whose current edition is the fourth and whose aim is to recognise and support the guidance actions of educational centres towards VET and/or Dual VET.

In addition, every year FPEmpresa has received the support of CaixaBank Dualiza to organise the different VET Congresses in Spain, which aim to promote the VET of the future and share experiences and good practices among schools.

We would also like to thank the Group Esprinet for its cooperation, with which the collaboration agreement has been renewed to launch initiatives such as the VET Knowledge Transfer Award; Coca Cola for participating in ‘Gira Jóvenes’, its entrepreneurship and youth employability support project; the Orange Foundation, the ExE Foundation, CONIF, among others, to continue carrying out projects for and in favour of VET.

FPEmpresa is committed to Internationalisation

The Organisation is committed to Internationalisation in order to share its objectives and values with other European and international educational entities. For this reason, FPEmpresa is involved in international projects and associations, such as the Spanish Service for the Internationalisation of Education (SEPIE) and EfVET (European Forum of Technical and Vocational Education and Training), considered to be one of the most relevant international entities working to promote the quality of VET at European level.

FPEmpresa is also a member of another educational organisation of major international importance, WFCP (World Federation Of Colleges And Polytechnics). Belonging to these entities is not only beneficial for the Association, but also “for our associated centres, which allow them to have references and support in Europe or in other parts of the world”, says the president of FPEmpresa, Luis García Domínguez.

Tenth anniversary and 8th VET Congress

Another of the Association’s notable events was the holding of the VIII VET Congress, under the slogan ‘Building the VET centre of the future’, in Donostia-San Sebastián. More than 650 teachers gathered at this meeting to analyse the future of VET in the country, a record number of attendees for FPEmpresa. At the same time, the Association took the opportunity to celebrate its tenth anniversary, promoting vocational training centres with a future.

In 2010, the FPEmpresa project was presented as an innovation project under the motivation of 83 national VET centres. Two years later it would become the Association that seeks to represent the VET centres of Spain.

To watch the video about the 10th anniversary of FPEmpresa on YouTube, click here.

Finally, we would like to thank all the members who have participated throughout this time in the Boards of Directors and the current members of the Board of Directors, who every day work for a quality and innovative VET and for it to become the first educational option in the country.

The Association of Vocational Training Centres FPEmpresa attended the meetings of the EfVET Executive Management held on 26th and 27th January at the Escuela Superior de Hostelería y Turismo in Madrid. Carlos de Olagüe, EfVET Coordinator for Spain and FPEmpresa Member for Madrid and International, also participated in the organisation of the meeting.

The agenda of the day covered discussions on various topics such as: policy, conference, membership action, finance and projects. However, one of the most prominent topics on the agenda was the preparation of the next European Congress on the island of Rhodes (Greece) from 26 until 28 October 2023. The Congress will include conferences, workshops, visits to VET centres and Market Place (networking meetings), although the theme of the event is not yet known.

The meeting on the 26th was followed by a visit to the facilities of the Escuela Superior de Hostelería y Turismo to learn about good VET practices in the centre.

The meeting on the 27th was followed by a visit to the facilities of the Escuela de la Vid, where José María Rodríguez, Director General of Secondary Education and Vocational Training of the Community of Madrid welcomed the participants, who came from 12 different countries.

Meetings to increase international relations

“The event has been a great opportunity to give visibility in Europe to the quality of vocational training in Spain. Both the Escuela Superior de Hostelería y Turismo and the Escuela del Vid have shown the methodologies and training techniques at the highest level. The Entrepreneurship Classroom of the School of Hospitality and Tourism, equipped with the latest technology, and the attention received by teachers and students have made possible the event with a great international impact,” said Carlos de Olagüe.

“Without a doubt, for FPEmpresa it has been an excellent opportunity to consolidate its international trajectory. In addition, this event was made possible thanks to the collaboration of the Directorate General for Secondary Education and Vocational Training and the teams and students of the Escuela Superior de Hostelería y Turismo de Madrid and the Escuela de la Vid”, concluded the EfVET coordinator for Spain.

Finally, the meeting discussed the work of the Thematic Themes (EfVET thematic teams), established in 2018 with the main objective of becoming a ‘Think Tank’, opinion leader and reference point for VET in a specific field. Also, to promote innovation and business opportunities among project members.

Currently, EfVET thematic teams are focusing on the areas of Entrepreneurship, Sustainability through VET, Tourism, VET 4.0, Internationalisation and Learning Mobility and Inclusive Vocational Excellence.

FPEmpresa has met last 28th of October with the Spanish EfVET partners at the EfVET 2022 Annual Conference in Kuopio (Finland). The conference took place from 26th to 29th October and was organised by two Finnish EfVET members, Ylä-Savo Vocational College and Savo Vocational College. FPEmpresa was represented by Carlos de Olagüe, the Association’s Madrid and International Coordinator.

The theme of the congress was ‘The future skills revolution for VET and CVET in Europe’, whose main objective was to provide training providers with the opportunity to share learning and teaching experiences. Also, as new skills in the education system and to share best practices among other EfVET members.

“As EfVET’s national representative, a new challenge that I am looking forward to, I have to thank the organisation of this Congress that has allowed us to learn about different educational and work experiences, as well as different social, cultural and political perspectives”, says Carlos de Olagüe.

Future skills revolution

During the event, a wide variety of topics have been discussed according to the programme: Finnish education, presentation of new EfVET members, working sessions, round tables, among others. The General Assembly also approved the re-election of the current board, so that the Executive Management Team is composed of 4 members and 2 co-opted members: Joaquín James Calleja (Malta); Stefano Tirati (Learningdigital. eu – Italy); Arja Flinkman (South Savo Education Ltd – Finland); Marta Almeida Santos (Ensinus Group – Portugal); Panagiotis G. Anastassopoulos (P- Consulting – Greece); Leif Haar (Denmark); and Vibeke Holtum Norgaard (Technical Education Copenhagen – Copenhagen).

The budget and the strategic plan 2023 were also approved and the next congress to be held in October 2023 in Rhodes (Greece) was presented.

The EfVET Annual Conference is held every year as a meeting point for VET professionals from Europe, Asia and America. EfVET confirms that, in each edition, more than 200 delegates from different countries gather every time, even when the coronavirus pandemic appeared.

FPEmpresa, member and new representative of EfVET Spain, has met with the EfVET Europe Committee on 10th of september in Brussels to propose a new work plan for the year 2023. FPEmpresa was represented by Carlos de Olagüe Smithson, International and Madrid coordinator of the Association.

The EfVET representatives that also has attend at the event were Professor Joaquín James Calleja (Malta); Stefano Tirati (Learningdigital.eu – Italy); Arja Flinkman (South Savo Education Ltd – Finland); Marta Almeida Santos (Ensinus Group – Portugal); Panagiotis G. Anastassopoulos (P- Consulting – Greece); Leif Haar (Denmark); Vibeke Holtum Norgaard (Technical Education Copenhagen – Copenhagen); Silvia Liuti (FORMA. Azione srl – Italy); Gaby Tinnemeier (Germany), Giorgos Giorgakis (Eurosucess Consulting – Cyprus); Paulius Cepas (Kaunas technical vocational education centre – Lithuania); Tibor Dori (Euro-Contact Business School – Hungary); Marloes de Vries (The Netherlands), Jussi Kajander (Luovi Vocational College – Finland), Luis Costa (ANESPO – Portugal) and Jon Harding (Bridgwater College – UK).

This meeting has been very important for all the members of EfVET Spain, including FPEmpresa. From now, Carlos Olagüe will be the new representative of the Spanish EfVET members, taking over from Nacho Camacho. “I will take over the position held until now by Nacho Camacho, from the company Incoma, as representative of EfVET Spain. He has carried out his work as a representative with great professionalism for many years and now it is my turn to take on this new challenge, which I am looking forward to”, says Carlos de Olagüe.

Points to discuss

The main point of the EfVET Council was to prepare the organisation of the next Annual Congress will take place at the end of october in Kuopio (Finland), under the slogan “The Future Skills Revolution for VET and CVET in Europe”.

Other important issues were also discussed, such as analysing the activities carried out during the year 2022 and proposing a new work plan and budget for 2023. “I called a meeting tha last 6th of september with the different members of EfVET Spain to pick up their opinions and take them to the assembly in Brussels. Once there, a new line of work for 2023 was created, including a new strategic plan 2022-2026 that will be presented at the Kuopio Congress. This will be the big moment when we all meet again to exchange views with each other”, concludes the international representative of FPEmpresa.

The FPEmpresa VET Schools Association will be present at the Annual General Assembly of EfVET (European Forum of Technical and Vocational Education and Training), which is going to be held today, October 28, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. (CEST), via virtual platform for the second consecutive year.

EfVET, an organisation of which FPEmpresa is a member, is one of the institutions with the greatest international relevance in the field of Vocational Education and Training and its mission is to defend and enrich VET, through transnational cooperation and the creation of a strong pan-European network of institutions working towards a common goal.

The purpose of EfVET is clear: to promote quality and innovation in Vocational Education and Training throughout Europe, in order to develop fruitful mechanisms for cooperation and mutual learning and to guarantee an agile exchange of good practices between all parties involved. Furthermore, this organisation plays a decisive role when it comes to influencing European policies related to Vocational Education and Training.

At the Assembly, various internal issues of the organisation will be discussed, such as the presentation and approval of the activity report and financial report for last year’s financial year; the presentation of EfVET’s strategic plan for the period 2022-2026; and the presentation of the EfVET History Book.