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The Transformation of Vocational Training in Spain: Progress, Challenges and Opportunities



Towards an Educational Revolution: Integrating Dual Vocational Training into the Spanish Labor Fabric


In the Spanish educational fabric, Vocational Training (FP) has experienced significant evolution over the years, adapting to the changing demands of the labor market. One of the most recent and transcendental milestones has been the entry into force on January 1, 2024 of the mandatory nature of Social Security contributions for all types of student internships in companies. This change, together with the transition towards the “Dual model”, which eliminates FCT (Workplace Training), has marked a turning point in the relationship between FP and the business sector.


The Dual Model and its Innovations: The “Dual model” stands as the new paradigm in Vocational Training, displacing the old FCT. This approach involves greater integration between the classroom and the work environment, allowing students to acquire practical skills directly in companies. The elimination of the FCT seeks to provide training that is more aligned with the real demands of the market, thus facilitating the job placement of students after completing their studies.

Social Security Contribution: The mandatory nature of Social Security contributions for student internships in companies represents a transcendental change. This new requirement implies a formal recognition of the contribution of students to the world of work, providing them with social rights and protections. Social Security will subsidize 95% of contributions and the Ministry of Education, Vocational Training and Sports will take care of the remaining 5% in 2024. This joint effort by the government seeks to alleviate the financial burden on companies, encouraging their active participation in training of new professionals.

“The Dual model stands as the new paradigm in Vocational Training, displacing the old FCT”

Responses of the Autonomous Communities: The responses of the different autonomous communities to these developments are diverse. The Basque autonomous community stands out by assuming the administrative processing from the Government itself, eliminating possible bureaucratic barriers for companies and training centers. Other regions have opted for a mixed model, while some are still evaluating the best way to implement these changes.

Advantages and Challenges: The advantages of the new model are evident. The close collaboration between companies and educational centers ensures training that is more aligned with the needs of the labor market. Social Security contributions recognize and protect the rights of students. However, the sector faces logistical and financial challenges. Adapting to this new model requires time and resources, and companies must adjust to new administrative and financial obligations.

“The commitment to the Dual model and Social Security contributions establish a new standard that can benefit both students and society as a whole, as long as they are approached with diligence and collaboration”

Continuous Training vs. Dual Model: As VET transforms, the question arises about the balance between the Dual model and continuous training. While the Dual model focuses on early integration into the world of work, continuous training seeks to update and improve skills throughout the professional career. Both approaches are complementary and must coexist to build a solid and adaptable education and labor system.

In conclusion, the transformation of FP in Spain is a crucial step towards more effective training adapted to the demands of the labor market. Despite the challenges, the commitment of the government and some autonomous communities, together with the active collaboration of companies and educational centers, suggests a promising future for vocational training in Spain. The commitment to the Dual model and Social Security contributions establish a new standard that can benefit both students and society as a whole, as long as they are approached with diligence and collaboration.

Opinion article published in Instadores 2.0 magazine: https://www.instaladores20.com/opinion/antoni-ruiz/la-transformacion-de-la-formacion-profesional-en-espana-avances-desafios-y-oportunidades/

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