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FP students will do at least 25% of the teaching hours in companies

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The Council of Ministers approved this Tuesday the FP law project, which significantly increases the number of teaching hours that students will do in companies, promotes the accreditation of the professional skills of those workers who lack official qualifications and reinforces the connection of the FP with the University. The regulation, which will now be processed in the Congress of Deputies, seeks to bring this training branch closer to “the best European models”, according to the Minister of Education, Pilar Alegría.

Until now, Vocational Training students receive a minimum of 11% of the total teaching hours in the company, the average is over 15% and the most advanced, known as dual FP, which only attends 3% of the students , normally around 30%. The new law multiplies this time, organizing teaching into two large regimes. In the so-called general FP, students will carry out in the company between 25% and 35% of the training hours (although exceptionally it may be reduced to 20% in the case of basic FP degrees, the training cycles aimed at students who do not have obtained the title of ESO). In the other branch, called intensive FP, the minimum number of hours in the company will be 35% and the law does not establish a maximum limit.

This is one of the changes that the text has undergone since it was approved as a draft by the Government before the summer. The cap was then set at 50% of the hours, but it has finally been eliminated in order to give more flexibility when defining titles to the autonomous communities, educational centers and companies that participate in them. Intensive VET students will stay in companies with a training contract, which will be defined by labor legislation.

The Government intends to promote with the regulation an educational branch traditionally relegated in Spain, whose enrollment rate among young people, despite the strong increase in recent years, stands at 12%, compared to 29% in the OECD. It also aims to help reduce youth unemployment, which among those under 25 is 37%, more than double the community average. “We owe a whole generation of young people,” said Alegría, “a quality job opportunity like the one that Vocational Training can provide them.” The project has the support of both employers and the majority unions.

Students will have double supervision, with a tutor from the educational center (who will have the final responsibility when evaluating) and another from the company. Both parties will agree on the learning objectives to be completed in the company (among those listed in the degree curriculum). And the rule also regulates the stay of teachers in companies and other VET centers.

The process to accredit professional competencies will pass when the new law is approved to be permanent. That is, it will not be subject to extraordinary calls as has been happening up to now. The objective of the Government is to give official recognition to the large number of workers (up to 11 million, according to business calculations) who, despite having a high degree of professional experience, lack the qualifications to prove it. The Executive plans to allocate 850 million euros to this objective until 2024. In total, the Government foresees that the future law will have “a budgetary impact of 5,474 million” in its four years of implementation.

The new architecture of VET unifies training for students and workers in the same system. The training offer is structured in five levels, called A, B, C, D and E, with the aim that each person can configure their own itineraries adapted to their work plans and needs. The most basic, A, is called microformation (defined as “partial competence accreditations”) and is cumulative. Passing all the partial competence accreditations of a professional module will entail obtaining a professional competence certificate, level B. The next, C, will be achieved by completing several modules and will lead to obtaining a professional certificate. The D corresponds to the current vocational training cycles. And above them is level E, made up of so-called specialization courses.

The training experience of each person will appear in the new State Registry of Professional Training, and citizens will be able to obtain from it an updated training-professional life report.

Students enrolled in Vocational Training may study optional subjects in the faculties and vice versa, through agreements that must be signed by the universities. This will allow, for example, a student of the higher degree in Administration and Finance to expand their knowledge with subjects from the career of Economics. Or that a university student enrich their training with the applied teaching of higher vocational training. The norm facilitates the validation of credits taken respectively in the University and Vocational Training, promotes the creation of centers of excellence and contemplates the creation of double and bilingual degrees.

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