VET and HRD research in European countries > Overview 

Spain  [1]  Context of national VET/HRD policies

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It is necessary to link research in vocational training and human resources in Spain to the Spanish National Reform Programme, which constitutes the main reference of the Spanish Government’s economic policy for the 2005-2010 period. Based on the Lisbon Strategy, its objectives are to reach full convergence in 2010 with respect to per capita income and to surpass the employment rate of the European Union. Research is part of two core actions of the programme, increasing and improving human capital, and the R+D+I strategy (INGENIO 2010). The educational programme is implemented through a series of measures, amongst which we must highlight the Project for the Organic Law on Education, presented to Parliament, and the Avanz@ Plan.

One of the measures to improve vocational training was the creation of the National System for Qualifications and Vocational Training, with the purpose of satisfying the needs of the productive system, to promote quality training offers. Besides improving quality, action is being taken to transfer credits within a European framework, in order to facilitate mobility in vocational training and the rest of the education system. To this end, the National Public Employment Service is working on an experimental training, orientation and telematic support programme for professionalism certifications, and an evaluation tool for obtaining professionalism certificates for the National Centres for Occupational Vocational Training.

With regard to continuous training measures, Spain is currently in a reform phase. The social dialogue board has signed the Accord for Vocational Training for Employment for the creation of a single subsystem within the labour market, “Subsystem for Vocational Training for Employment”, which does not distinguish between Occupational Vocational Training and Continuous Vocational Training and guarantees lifelong training for unemployed and employed workers. The new system for vocational training for employment has as its objective the promotion and dissemination of training amongst businessmen/ businesswomen and workers, favouring the access of SME to the system, in addition to responding to the need to offer training to older workers and workers from sectors in the midst of restructuring processes, through the following actions: Development of Company Training Programmes; increasing and improving the quality of the continuous training of public servants; development of systems for the accreditation of professional competencies, acquired through both training processes (formal and non-formal) and professional experience, which favours the free movement of workers. 

Amongst the measures to be used to integrate the Information Society within education, lifelong access of citizens to the Information Society is a key aspect in the training of human capital in the current society. This access will be articulated through the Avanz@ Plan, which is developed within the fourth pillar of the National Reform Programme. Research, development and innovation strategy (Ingenio 2010), which maintains and improves the existing R+D+I programmes, and destines more resources for new strategic actions and regulatory reforms to favour R+D+I activities, etc. These actions are specified in three large projects: the CENIT Programme (National Strategic Technological Research Consortiums), to stimulate collaboration in R+D+I amongst companies, universities, institutions and public research centres, science and technology parks and technological centres; the CONSOLIDER Programme to increase critical mass and research excellence; the AVANZ@ Plan, to converge with Europe in the main Information Society indicators. 

The other pillar of the Spanish General Administration with respect to research is the National R+D+I 2004-2007 Plan, which consists of twelve strategic objectives, including the increase of the number and quality of human resources within the public and private sectors.

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Source: Cedefop - National Research Report Spain (details see Bibliography)
Editor: Sabine Manning  © WIFO