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CHALLENGES OF VOCATIONAL TRAINING IN TIMES OF CRISIS

 

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The delay in the economic recovery is not only testing the resilience of government, businesses and citizens but also is straining all institutions related to the labor market. A persistent unemployment rate of more than 20% for some years to thoroughly rethink require active policies focussing primarily on cushion the negative effects of the lack of employment. After four years of job losses and the prospect of yet another year or year and a half until 2013-2014 to generate net employment measures necessary to adjust employment to more short-term situation to be adapted to the changing dynamics of the labor market.

In a time when no one knows for sure what will be the engines of future job creation and because of the depth of the job losses occurred seems logical to expect that virtually all economic sectors will regain employment when . In this scenario general measures designed to maintain and increase the employability of the entire workforce, transversal competences especially seems most appropriate in the current situation. At boot time the job creation, then you have to focus more on areas and skills most in demand in the labor market.

While, recycling and basic skills training should be the priority of training policies for employment to supplement those measures designed to generate income for the population to resist during the period of non-employment. When the market does not generate employment for long periods is necessary to develop alternative measures to generate economic activity and income to avoid, where possible, widespread impoverishment of the whole population, with all the social consequences that this may lead.

Thus the formation, one of the key institutions of the labor market, is faced with major challenges in the short term to contribute to the recycling of the active population and medium-term economic recovery pushing people preparing for a change of economic model to strengthen recovery.

The whole training system should be prepared to meet this important mission and live up to the circumstances at a time when the population turns to training their hopes of improving their personal situation in the labor market.

Short term training system must be able to offer employment to as many unemployed training to strengthen and improve their core competencies, employed population and improving their employability to enhance business competitiveness. Under the circumstances it is urgent changes in the system of job training to increase efficiency and to reach more people with minimal resources. This does not require major changes to model but concrete steps that remove obstacles to this goal.

Finish to close the real and effective unification of ancient subsystems occupational and continuing training would reduce management costs and brokerage important. The elimination of captive markets and long subcontracting chains of supply also freeing resources that facilitate the final beneficiaries. The proximity of the planning of the training as close to end users flexibility to facilitate the adjustment of supply to local needs of companies and workers. Specific measures of this kind would be more effective than large discussions on changes training models that distract the energies of the players and stifle the ability to act at a time in which action is needed urgently.

In the field of initial training should interrelate more and better training cycles with a perspective of youth transition to the labor market. Before a long period of high unemployment keep employment expectations of new generations is a fundamental requirement for a society that claims to maintain levels of welfare and social cohesion high.

This requires rethinking some taboos of Spanish society of democracy bringing the widest possible consensus on what should be the terms of a first job placement of young people to facilitate the training of professional skills, avoid abusive situations and matches productivity levels of a novel workforce.

The alternation patterns in Europe, whether French models, Danish, Austrian or German can help you find your own way to combine training and work, so that free school places to increase the number of young people to form and otherwise facilitate direct contact between companies and young. Extend business practices of the current FCT accompanied by a small grant-wage measure can be easily implemented, that does not require many additional resources, and that would have a significant effect on both the attractiveness of vocational training, as an aid to the integration of young people and improve the competitiveness of enterprises.

It should be remembered that, although the hardness of the market situation work, in the coming years and as the net job creation occurs dynamics of the labor market will improve substantially due to the high outflow of the large market of the baby-boom generation, This will require a high level of demand for replacement and substitution and help ease tensions in the labor market. Direct contact and prolonged youth to help companies on both sides to select replacement demand.

This measure would also help to further reduce the high dropout rate of students in vocational training courses, better interface with help companies motivate young people to complete their professional studies. The paradox in Spain today is that young people who need the production system with vocational training are already in classrooms, but a very important part of them do not finish. Better understand this problem and act decisively on the factors involved is another measure that without major changes can produce very significant increases in efficiency and effectiveness of the vocational training system.

The ability to leverage the current critical juncture for improvements in the system of vocational training is the best way to overcome it and help steer the recovery prospects of success and consolidation of the welfare of the population.

 

Oriol Homs i Ferret

 

Barcelona, 24 January 2012

The FP in times of crisis

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