Training Week, with Vocational Training
The financial crisis has exposed the weaknesses of the Spanish labour market, which has suffered the fastest and most severe loss of occupation in the European Union, with the younger segment of the population particularly hard hit. According to the survey of the working population, a total of 889,300 young people under 25 were without employment at the end of 2013.
Many of these have been forced out of the job market by a lack of basic qualifications. The high rate of academic failure in our country was encouraged by the boom years of the construction industry, when many youngsters left school to work as building labourers.
A timid improvement
A Eurostat study indicates that in 2013, 23.5% of young people between the ages of 18 and 25 obtained no more than their basic education and are not in any kind of training scheme. Although the target of 15% for 2020 is still some way off, the figures have improved by 8% since 2008, when the number of young people with only basic education was as high as 31.9%.
Shaping the future
In a drive to prevent students leaving school prematurely, and to offer young people access to the job market, public bodies are setting up programmes to promote Vocational Training (FP).
Training Week (The Education Fair; The Masters and Post-Graduate Forum, Futura, and the International Business Simulator Fair), which is being held in March at the Montjuïc site, has once again brought together a wide range of options for students at all levels to focus on their career path.
Studying and working
The poor image of vocational training in the past has been transformed into one of success. A study conducted in 2012 by the Education Department and the Board of Chambers of Catalonia into the job prospects for students of FP underlined its importance for business.
29% of those who gain a basic professional training qualification after completing their basic education, in other words, those who go on to vocational training when they finish school, have found their way into the job market, while another 13% combine their studies with work. Therefore 43% of these students have landed a job, and in many cases a good first job.
English, Français, Deutsch?
Another decisive factor when applying for skilled positions is having a good grasp of a foreign language, especially English, which is the true lingua franca of the 21st century. This is one area where Spain has a lot of room to improve. Spaniards jokingly define themselves as being the people who spend half of their lives trying to learn English.
According to the data from Eurostat, 51% of Spanish adults between the ages of 25 and 64 claim to know another language, which puts Spain below only Hungary and Bulgaria among European Union member states with the fewest people with foreign language skills. 40% of Spain’s adults claim that they have an intermediate level of English.
As part of Training Week, the Association of Promoters of Courses Abroad (ASEPROCE) is coordinating an area exclusively for language training, offering a variety of courses and holidays in several countries. ASEPROCE estimates that at least 100,000 Spaniards, 80% of them under 18 years of age, will go abroad this year to learn a foreign language, with Great Britain and Ireland as the most popular destinations.
Experts recommend immersion as the best way to learn a language properly, and in this case the language is a basic requirement for certain kinds of jobs, and for anyone looking for jobs in other countries..