Study from the Fundación ATRESMEDIA and Fundación MAPFRE, as part of their ‘Discover VT’ initiative

Vocational Training, the most effective solution for improving youth employability over the next decade

The study entitled ‘Reflections on Vocational Training at Intermediate and Advanced Level in Spain’, produced by the business school IESE, is an initiative by Fundación ATRESMEDIA and Fundación MAPFRE that analyzes the current situation of VT and shows its power as a force for change in the labor market.

MAIN CONCLUSIONS

• VT has been shown to be effective in dealing with school failure and early dropout rates

• This training is the ideal response to the demand for intermediate technical positions

• Unemployment rates for those with VT qualifications are lower than those for university students

• Young people are demanding that education centers move more towards VT

Vocational Training is emerging as a field of education with a great future that will prove to be fundamental in improving the employability of young people. According to expert opinion, over the coming years half of the positions in the labor market that need to be filled will require professionals with an intermediate qualification which is precisely the kind that VT prepares for.

Another of the reasons the importance of supporting VT is its effectiveness in reducing school failure and early dropout rates. In fact, enrollments for the 2017-2018 academic year show an upward trend. VT still continues to be an unknown quantity for students and parents alike. For example, many ignore the fact that the unemployment rate for those with VT qualifications is less than for university students. That is why young people are demanding more focus on Vocational Training in their education centers and greater freedom within the family to decide on their future.

These are some of the conclusions from the study ‘Reflections on Vocational Training at Intermediate and Advanced Level in Spain’ presented by Fundación ATRESMEDIA and Fundación MAPFRE this morning, as part of the ‘Discover VT’ initiative, which the two organizations started in 2015 to recognize the worth of VT and to spread the word about it in Spain. Attending the launch event, which took place at Fundación MAPFRE’s head office, was the president of the State School Council, Ángel de Miguel Casas and relevant professional figures from government and education fields, especially those from the world of VT.

The report, produced by the IESE Business School, based on their own research and data from reputable and reliable sources such as the World Economic Forum, the OECD and the European Center for the Development of Professional Training is intended as an in-depth snapshot of the current situation of VT in Spain, concentrating on the improvements already made in the sphere of VT in terms of both its social image and reputation as well as employability.

VT as an inspiring alternative

The managing director of Fundación MAPFRE, Julio Domingo, affirmed during the presentation of the report that it had “gathered, systemized and analyzed data and experiences compiled over three years by both foundations and provides a range of proposals to foster Vocational Training in Spain”. For Julio Domingo, the study “represents a reflection and an update on a topic that we feel to be essential, no only for training our young people, but also for our economy and our ability to adapt to unprecedented socioeconomic change”. He also highlighted the fact that this joint project had made very clear the importance of promoting training programs to young people that were “more practical and closer to the employment demands of our economy, more so now than ever in the context of the current digital revolution”.

José Ramón Pin, who lectures on Managing People in Organizations at IESE pointed out that “discovering the true nature of VT is to encounter an inspirational alternative for young people who want to develop their applied intelligence; finding a professional pathway that quickly allows them to establish their professional and personal autonomy and that propels them to the highest levels of academic achievement if that is what they wish”.

The professor stressed that this educational field requires “the different agents involved in its value chain (families, centers, companies and government administrations) to reach an agreement on its nature, potential and the challenges faced to develop it comprehensively”. He stressed that “the solutions required can only be tackled through an appropriate and consensual diagnosis. Its strength is the high level of employability it confers on its students which means increasing the level of autonomy in centers in conjunction with the companies who are the end user customers of its value chain”.
He also pointed out that “spreading knowledge is one of the values of initiatives such as ‘Discover VT”. In his view, spreading the word is, “very necessary for society and families, the true influencers in the choice of a professional career, without forgetting the work of professional career advisors in the stages leading up to VT”.

For her part, the director of Fundación ATRESMEDIA, Carmen Bieger, stressed the “the dizzying changes that are occurring in every professional field, leading to many job positions remaining unfilled through the lack of ideally suited profiles”. She went on to add that “because of this, data emerging from the IESE clearly shows that it is going to be essential to encourage technical studies and have appropriately trained managers at an intermediate level which is precisely what VT prepares for”.

She also described today’s VT as being “practical, innovative, useful, closer to company requirements and oriented towards the preferences of each student”, qualities which, in her opinion, “contribute greatly to any country’s socioeconomic development”. The director also gave great credit to the IESE study and confirmed her support for a very ambitious joint initiative “that seeks to raise society’s awareness and to give an accurate and up-to-date view of VT as a first class training path, with a far-reaching impact in young people’s employability”.