The FPEmpresa VET Schools Association and the Embassy of Spain in Brazil, more specifically its Education Office, give Spanish and Brazilian VET centres the opportunity to collaborate in different educational projects. This initiative is part of the objective set by FPEmpresa of promoting international cooperation between associated centres and other centres in other parts of the world.

Elena Argudo, FPEmpresa’s Project Manager, highlights: “Stimulating the international relations of Spanish centres is one of the objectives of FPEmpresa. Facilitating this networking seems essential to us, so that the centres can see what is being done in the field of VET in other countries. Furthermore, in this case, Brazil is a strategic country, as it has a very powerful Vocational Education and Training system. It is significant to see that in the Worldskills contest, Brazilian VET students often reach the top positions”.

Brazil, a benchmark in the world in terms of Vocational Education and Training, will be the first country with which cooperative relations between centres are established, but there will be more. “This first collaborative action opens a potential line of work with the Education Offices of the Spanish Embassies in the world, through which to foster this type of initiatives” Argudo adds.

After the agreement reached by FPEmpresa and the Embassy of Spain in Brazil, work began last year to put the participating centres in contact. Thus, there are three Spanish VET centres that are already assigned to their Brazilian project partners, all belonging to the Federal Institute of Paraná (IFPR): the CIFP Ciudad de Béjar with the Telêmaco Borba campus; the CIPFP La Costera with that of Jacarezinho; and the Goierri Eskola with Campo Largo.

At the moment, these are all eTwinning projects, although it is expected that other real mobility projects may be developed in the future.

Cristina Sanz Godos, Nathassa Gil Podgórska, Pau Cerveró Campos and Pedro Mas Campos, under the coordination of their teacher Efraim Vendrell Galdon, are the members of the winning team of the national phase of the European competition SCoopConSS (Social Cooperative Contest for Secondary Schools), organised in Spain by the FPEmpresa VET Schools Association and the Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Spain (CCIS).

With their EDUNATURE project, they have won the first prize in the national competition and have been given the opportunity to travel to Florence next September to represent Spain before the other participating countries: Croatia, Greece, Italy and Portugal.

“At the beginning, we decided to participate out of curiosity, because the teacher suggested this project to us and we said, well, let’s see how it goes; later, we did some research and we liked it more and more, because we realised that we were learning a lot ”, Nathassa highlights; an opinion shared by her teammates.

When they were asked what they liked the most about carrying out this project, Nathassa emphasized that she really liked the researching and self-learning part; Cristina points out that she has been very surprised and has found the social media and the website development very interesting; Pau, on his part, highlights that he did not expect that in such small, unpopulated towns, so many things could be done, so many different activities; lastly, Pedro is very satisfied with the teamwork and with the fact that, despite the difficulties encountered, the project has finally got off the ground.

The teacher, Efraim, also wants to emphasize that what he was most surprised about the development of this project was the great involvement of all the students. “It is very difficult to carry out a project with 100% remote work, going online at late hours because they were carrying out their respective work placement modules. I am very proud of how they have performed and that they have overcome every obstacle with great effort. The teamwork has been spectacular and I am very happy that they have received this reward ”, he highlights.

SCoopConSS is a project aimed at promoting social entrepreneurship among young people and when they were asked if they would like or if they would consider starting a business in the future, they expressed their unanimous opinion: “We do not know when, but, after having carried out this project from scratch, we are certain that we would like to be entrepreneurs”.

“We are quite nervous”, the team members let out a soft giggle when asked about their next trip to Florence to present their proposal to the international jury. “The use of the English language will be a challenge, but we have several surprises in store for the presentation,” Efraim concludes.

In line with the objective of improving the quality of internships in the educational field of Vocational Training, the FPEmpresa VET Schools Association becomes one of the active members of the European Alliance for Apprenticeships («EAfA »), after the commitment application form sent to the organization has been approved.

The European Alliance for Apprenticeships brings together government institutions and key actors in society with the aim of strengthening the quality, provision and overall image of apprenticeships across Europe, while promoting apprentices’ mobility. The achievement of these two objectives is promoted through national commitments and voluntary commitments.

In July 2020, the European Commission launched the renewed EAfA as a key element of the youth employment support package. This strengthened alliance requires, and will require, new commitments for digital and green apprenticeships, by targeting economic sectors that will be at the forefront of the transition to a greener Europe.

Spain presented its national commitment to the Alliance in 2019 and currently, the EAfA has a total of 38 voluntary commitments from Spain.

The profile of FPEmpresa as a member of this Alliance can be found at the following link.