Several reports predict that 50% of jobs will require vocational training qualifications next year

Vocational Training is an educational mode that has become increasingly popular in Spain over the last decade. Indeed, according to a joint report by the Fundación Atresmedia, Fundación Mapfre, and IESE Business School, about half of all jobs will require this type of qualifications by 2020. A situation that may seem rather distant but is, nonetheless, approaching fast. Consequently, within approximately one year, about 50% of jobs will require medium level vocational training compared to 35% that will require higher education (higher level vocational training or university degrees). These data complement the information provided by ‘Skills Forecast’, a report on projections on future employment trends prepared by the European agency, Cedefop, which found that, by 2030, 65% of the jobs generated in Spain will require medium-level qualifications while 35% will require higher qualifications.

The truth is that, according to the said report, Spain is still far from the European average regarding Vocational Training. Although the number of students enrolled in this mode has increased by 70% in the last decade, and the enrolment rate stands at 34%; these figures are lower than the European average of 48% (headed by Germany, Italy, France, the United Kingdom and Portugal). This, together with the high rate of university degrees, has resulted in the over-qualification of workers and difficulties in covering middle positions, according to the study by Atresmedia, Mapfre and IESE Business School. In fact, this is precisely one of the main issues that businesses have been mentioning for years; the lack of worker profiles to cover certain jobs in industrial settings, such as Industry 4.0, which is forcing them to recruit abroad.

For this reason, the report stresses the fact that Vocational Training must be made more attractive to favour enrolment rates and make this mode of education the driving force that will improve the efficiency of the labour market. After all, these modules provide easier access to jobs and favour early employability given the lower qualification levels of the study cycles and the practical nature of the contents that focus on work experience. They are also more in line with business requirements and provide work, business and entrepreneurial training that promotes other forms of professional integration. In addition, they contribute to reducing dropout and school failure rates given that they offer more practical learning methods.