The incipient dual vocational training already marks a great employment advantage, but with a gender gap |  Education

The incipient dual vocational training already marks a great employment advantage, but with a gender gap | Education

Dual vocational training class in power plants, on the Red Eléctrica de España campus.
Dual vocational training class in power plants, on the Red Eléctrica de España campus.Victor Sainz

One of the great promises of dual vocational training —which combines training at the training center and in the company from the outset and which the new Vocational Training law tries to promote— is a better job placement for graduates in this modality. And, for now, when this model, which has been consolidated for decades in countries like Germany or Switzerland, is just beginning to spread in Spain —somewhat less than 5% of vocational training students currently take it—, the statistics already show these advantages, at least for men. Thus, 75% of the graduates in intermediate dual FP (accessed after ESO) in the 2017-2018 academic year had a job four years after graduating, 10 points above their peers in the same modality and the male graduates through the traditional system (with internships at the end of the second year). In the higher grade (to enter you need an upper secondary degree), the difference is slightly less between men and women with dual vocational training degrees (81.7% and 72% average enrollment rate, respectively) and greater with respect to men graduated from the standard system (68%), according to figures recently published by the Ministry of Education.

The researcher at the Autonomous University of Barcelona and professor at Isabel I Daniel Barrientos Sánchez highlights these differences, but offers a series of precautions when interpreting the data, since employability has a lot to do with the size of the company where one works. form the students and the territory: “The difference in the places offered in the autonomous communities, the dual FP models that have been allowed and the clearly different use in remuneration (unpaid dual FP, scholarships of very different characteristics, and contracts ) do not allow us to speak of a single dual VET model in Spain”, explains this specialist.

In addition, he adds, “it should be remembered that the dual modality is offered to a significantly low number of people compared to the total number of VET places and that the student selection systems for the dual modality vary even between centers”. In Navarra, for example, around 14% of vocational training students are on the dual track, and in Catalonia, just over 7%, while in communities such as Aragón, Asturias, Cantabria or Castilla y León, this offer in still almost anecdotal.

However, with all these nuances, Barrientos stresses the relevance of the information provided by statistics, for example, in terms of inequality between the sexes. Or the difference between professional families: “The data show that there are better job placement indicators in those industrial and technological families (Computer Science and Communications, Installation and Maintenance, Transportation and Vehicle Maintenance, Electricity and Electronics), which also have higher percentages of participation of men, than in families in the service sector (Health, Socio-cultural and community services, Hospitality and tourism, Personal Image), with more women”.

In general, the branches with the highest employment rates four years after graduation coincide when comparing dual FP and plain FP, both for medium-level graduates (Mechanical Manufacturing; Transportation and Vehicle maintenance; Installation and maintenance; and Electricity and electronics) and at a higher level (Installation and maintenance; Information technology and communications; Electricity and electronics; Mechanical manufacturing). But with some striking differences, especially in the middle grade: the computer cycles have one of the highest affiliation rates in the dual system (73%) and the lowest in the ordinary (58.9%). In the case of Health (which includes cycles of pharmacy technician or nursing assistant, among others), those who come from the dual have a slightly lower rate (66.7%) than those from the ordinary path (67.2%) .

For Luis García Domínguez, director of the Puerta Bonita Institute in Madrid and president of the FPEmpresa association, the employability data shown by the statistics are good, but could be greatly improved, especially if the human resources departments of the companies were able to get to know better the FP offer in terms of titles, qualifications, training… “I think that one of the key elements is, as the new law establishes, greater collaboration from companies in training. In the case of the dual, it is observed that those who collaborate more intensively do so because they need to recruit qualified people and they understand it is necessary to intensify their commitment. The result is evident, ”he points out. And he adds: “Formulas must be found to attract more companies to dual VET”.

Safety and Chemistry stand out in salaries

Another issue that is also addressed by statistics is the salaries of graduates. Thus, the intermediate degree graduates who earn the most four years later are those from the Safety and Environment family (with cycles such as Emergency Technician and Civil Protection) graduated by conventional means, with an average contribution base of 26,116 euros per year (for these titles there was still no dual offer in 2017). They are followed by graduates in Mechanical Manufacturing (with 23,215 euros and 24,701 in dual) and Installation and maintenance (with 23,274 and 24,619, respectively).

At a higher level, at the top of the pyramid is Dual Track Chemistry (with an average of 33,000 euros), followed by the two most frequently repeated families among those that show the best job opportunities: Installation and maintenance (with 29,450 euros in dual and 27,077 in the ordinary way) and Mechanical Manufacturing (with 28,297 and 26,114, respectively). In the normal FP, likewise, a different family sneaks up: the Maritime-Fishing (which includes cycles as a senior technician in Aquaculture, in Organization of Maintenance of Ship and Vessel Machinery and Maritime Transport and Deep Sea Fishing), with 27,412 euros.

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