Is there a television or platform series set in a vocational training center? Do you know of female welders? There are many streamers either tiktokers that gloss the benefits of trades? The answer to the questions requires a look at young people, many of whom are looking for “what to do” with their future without getting an answer. Educated in the culture of degrees, the job market shows that in many offers there are too many university students while there are dozens of industrial companies waiting for professionals with technique and skill. And also sighing because whoever opts for the offer is also a woman.
There is an enormous challenge with Vocational Training, agreed all the participants of a new edition of The vanguard talks, held last Wednesday, December 14 at the GoHub offices in Valencia with the collaboration of CaixaBank Dualiza. Agents of the educational system, public administration, companies and unions repeated several times that “there is a way to go” around this type of training, especially due to the discredit it still carries.
The job market shows that in many offers there are too many university students while there are dozens of industrial companies waiting for professionals with technique and skill
All this was discussed by Enric Nomdedèu, regional secretary for Employment and general director of LABORA; Miquel Soler, regional secretary for Education and Vocational Training; Manuela Pascual, head of Trade Union Training and Employment of CCOO-PV; Inmaculada García, CEO of the CEV; Jesús Martí, General Director of the Valencian Youth Institute (IVAJ); Antonio Alhambra, director of FP Escuelas San José-Instituto Politécnico and Ricard Guillem, coordinator of CaixaBank Dualiza in the Valencian Community, moderated by Salvador Enguix, delegate of The vanguard In the Valencian community.
broadcast on streaming Through the La Vanguardia website, the debate started from the idea of the great mismatch between supply and demand. According to the CaixaBank Dualiza report, the lack of FP graduates could leave 100,000 jobs unfilled in the next eight years. “The imbalance is very large, but we also live in a fast-paced world that makes it difficult to match supply and demand,” said Ricard Guillem.
The vision of Vocational Training is what we have built”
All the speakers put together a shared diagnosis, and agreed that “the vision we have of VT is the one we have built”, affirmed Miquel Soler, who recalled that it was from the General Education Law of 1970 when the person who Approved did EGB or Baccalaureate studies and whoever failed could only take Vocational Training. “That’s why now when someone has a notable and wants to study vocational training, they have two problems: a fight at home or a fight with the teachers,” Soler summarized.
A reality that companies are aware of, as explained by Inmaculada García, who assured that “in the business world we also have to make a great effort and open doors”. Here Manuel Pascual called for “a change of mentality” and encouraged companies to make “a cultural change, to understand training as an investment and not as an expense. We have to take steps.” García responded, by allusion: “Companies have evolved a lot, training is already an investment.”
There is a lack of profiles in many of the traditional trades, in all those that are related to construction”
Educate in vocational training
Taking a more in-depth look, Antonio Alhambra recommended starting to educate that Vocational Training is a training “like the others”, even “from Primary School”, and he wanted to avoid the concept of “prestige” due to its economic variable because, he argued, ” What is the difference between the blue jumpsuit and the white coat? For the FP director of the San José de València Schools, one must be aware that “we all have to train and if we are aware of that, any type of training will help us”.
For Ricard Guillem, FP already has prestige, but “it still depends on where you look”. How families perceive that their children study a trade is perhaps a question to take into account because some are “quite reluctant, because before it was considered that the University took you to the social elevator”.
The mismatch in vocational training is very large, but we live in a fast-paced world that makes it difficult to match supply and demand”
Inmaculada García spoke here about “communication” to help put together a strategy around the benefits of VT: “Companies have a key job, the media themselves have a key role in how they talk about VT. And the families too, I agree, because sometimes they are the ones who encourage their children to do certain professions, ”she added. “It costs a lot to communicate, it’s true,” added Ricard Guillem.
The missing profiles
Another of the topics that they dealt with in depth was the profiles demanded by the market. The first to answer was Enric Nomdedèu, who is also the general director of the Valencian Public Employment and Training Service. “There is a lack of profiles in many of the traditional trades, in all those that are related to construction,” he acknowledged, linking this shortage to the financial crisis of 2008.
Although we still have a long way to go, I am already beginning to meet women who work as mechanics in the transport sector”
For this reason, Miquel Soler remarked that “we must insist that the sector has changed, that things” are not like before. Also in construction, he said, “yes or yes, they will have to improve their level of qualification, but at the same time a series of incentives must be required.”
Where else are professionals lacking? Inmaculada García alluded to logistics and transport, “where there are many people who are in the process of retirement, and we also need staff in the hospitality services, we are a benchmark in tourism and now qualified profiles are requested.” In addition, there is a wide demand for transversal technological profiles for all.
Companies have a key job, the media themselves have a key role, and families too”
An example was given by Antonio Alhambra, who said that in his educational center they do not have anyone in the job market “and we continually have offers from companies that we cannot attend to in electromechanics, for example.”
Manuela Pascal, for her part, wanted to wonder aloud why there are so many professionals, and stressed the fact that “not all sectors are well paid or well paid, there are many hours of work with low wages and that makes It’s not attractive,” he admitted. Likewise, Jesús Martí cited agriculture as another sector where there is a lack of generational relief; or in youth leisure. And going a little further, he explained that “what is missing are skills in which we are not training.”
The Happy Welder and the Battalion of Fitters
During the debate, there was an evident interest in talking about women. The latest report from CaixaBank Dualiza, to which Ricard Guillem alluded on several occasions, shows that women have a presence below 50% in all FP studies, a figure that oscillates between their greater presence in Higher Grade FP (48 .2) and a lower presence in Basic Vocational Training (29.7%). For this reason, he said, “it is key to look for ambassadors, references to teach others to work.”
You have to start educating from Primary. Because what’s the difference between the blue jumpsuit and the white coat?
Here Nomdedèu landed the example: “How am I going to explain to my daughter that she can be a welder if she has never seen a happy welder?”. The figures that he listed show how there are sectors where they still do not enter.
In the demand for FP courses at LABORA, women are 7% in maintenance and installations, 11% in electricity and electronics, or only 13% in training related to energy and water. And there is more: the Generalitat Valenciana has opened calls for scholarships for women in FP in the agricultural or electrification sector, to incorporate women into highly masculinized courses, and they do not fill them. On the other hand, and to give an example, in the formations for solar panel installers, “it seems that we are going to need a battalion, they are all men. Almost all of them are masculinized”, acknowledged Ricard Guillem.
If you look at TitkTok, the female model is not an example, but it’s the image they’re having, and it’s the task we have on the table.”
For all this, and picking up the reflection of Inmaculada García that the key is also in how the FP communicates, Soler and Nomdedèu jumped on the bandwagon of networks, television and social media to ask for new references. “We need a series like Merlin or Al salir de clase that happens in a FP center, because young people need references,” said the second.
On the other hand, Manuela Pascual replied that care continues to be “a women’s issue”, and pointed out that “although we still have a long way to go, I am already beginning to meet women who work as mechanics.” Again, they opted to look at social networks, where young people move like a fish in water. For Jesús Martí, “if you look at TitkTok, the female model is not an example, but that is the image they are having, and that is the task we have on the table. The world is telling them what their place is.” A place that must be expanded for the benefit of all, also remembering people with disabilities, whom Antonio Alhambra claimed because “we need to overcome from architectural barriers to others.”