VET and HRD research in European countries > Overview 

Spain  [7]  Review of VET/HRD research

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Current VET/HRD research

The evaluation report of the R+D+I Plan (2000-2003) collects the results of an opinion poll carried out amongst 15,000 components of the database of the National Agency for Evaluation and Planning (ANEP) and the participants in the activities convoked. In the opinion of those surveyed, the activities developed have allowed for an increase in the level of Spanish science and technology, in size and quality, it has strengthened the internationalisation process and increased scientific and technological knowledge. In contrast, the increase in competitiveness of the industrial sector, and its innovative character, is still pending. Actions directed to increasing qualified human resources within the public and private sector, and improving coordination, evaluation and technical monitoring of the Plan are attaining their objectives, although its incidence and repercussion within the Spanish Science-Technology-Business System should increase. There is evidence that there is a need to establish coordination and cooperation mechanisms with other agents of the research system, like the Autonomous Communities. The survey also showed that researchers found greater difficulty in researching socioeconomic areas, in that they found that said activity was not very related, if related at all, to the priority lines of the National Plan.

The Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT) elaborated a report on the programmes involving basic non-oriented and scientific-technological research of the National Plan 2000-2003, which outlines conclusions and recommendations elaborated from the comments and experiences of 138 experts. The report considers that many of the objectives set have not been fulfilled due to a lack of economic resources and monitoring actions, and that the confluence of the science-technology system with Spanish business has been limited. A recommendation is made to promote technological innovation of social interest, supporting those groups that develop same, and the General Programme for Knowledge, in which the area of Humanities is located, should be strengthened as a fundamental research programme based on quality, promoting originality, innovation and risk in the research of new topics.

In September 2005 the minister of Education and Science stated, during the signing of the Collaboration Agreement between the Ministry of Education and Science and the Spanish High Council of Official Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Navigation, that in her objective to integrate Vocational Training within the active employment policies it was essential for the collaboration of both parties, in order to convert the company into an educational place, highlighting the work carried out by the Chambers in the development of professional qualifications, vocational orientation actions and research and study action in relation with vocational training. There is confidence in the boost given to R+D research and technological transfer by the “Ingenio 2010” programme, and in the collaboration between the Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs to promote the creation of knowledge, and its dissemination and transfer to the productive world.

Future VET/HRD research

Within the framework of the policy actions of the National Action Plans for Employment in the Kingdom of Spain, R+D efforts within this ambit must be directed to the development of the education and vocational training system, stressing the connection between the three existing subsystems, through platforms and having as a reference point the National Qualifications Catalogue, so that a response can be given to new demands in the field of competencies and professional needs, and their key competencies can be streamlined better, as well as to be able to anticipate future needs arising from the constant technological changes. Furthermore, broadening access to employment opportunities within the EU, articulating systems that favour mobility, through the genuine recognition and validation of professional qualifications and non-formal and informal education. The promotion of scientific research and technological innovation to facilitate access to lifelong learning, while adapting this to the needs of businesses and workers.

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