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Catalonia is an autonomous community in Spain, on the northeastern corner of the Iberian Paeninsula, designated as a nationality by its Statute of Autonomy. Catalonia consists of four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. The capital and largest city is Barcelona, the second most-populated municipality in Spain and the core of the sixth most populous urban area in the European Union. It is bordered by France and Andorra to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the east, and the Spanish autonomous communities of Aragon to the west and Valencia to the south. The official languages are Catalan, Spanish, and Aranese, a dialect of Occitan.

Catalonia has more than 5,000 educational educational institutions throughout its geography with more than 500,000 students in total.


Vocational Education and Training (VET)

One of the most important goals from The Department of Education in Catalunya is to promote vocational training throughout all the region. Companies have the necessity of hiring more and more qualified employees according to some specific skills only vocational educational training provides. In order to achieve that, promoting international motilities plays a key role due to the benefits the students acquire living abroad for a period of time and attending their internship in a company from abroad.

The DUAL system in vocational training is also highly important. Combining learning and working is highly beneficial for students. Examples of all this benefits are explained below.

For students:

  • Students can do practice and theory at the same time.
  • Students are trained in a real work environment.
  • Feeling valued as a “worker”, as well as being a student.
  • Learning acquired in the company is recognized academically.
  • Access to technology, resources and facilities of companies.
  • Improvement of training, qualification and personal development.

For companies:

  • Increase of competitiveness.
  • Improvement of professional skills of the staff.
  • Contribution to corporate social responsibility policy.
  • Establishment of a relation of co-responsibility with vocational training institutions.

The DUAL system is a vocational training model that is organized jointly by companies and educational centers (through a collaboration agreement). In companies students learn to work and receive an economic remuneration. Internships may be carried out in two different ways: contract or scholarship. Students in the company are tutored by qualified professionals who have received the basic training that enables them to follow and evaluate the educational activities. Nowadays more than 10,000 students have opted for the modality of the DUAL VET and more than 4,000 companies collaborate in this training model. Among the most involved business sectors in the development of DUAL system we find industry and service providers.

The implementation of more and more international mobilities in all vocational training institutions is also relevant, as more than 2,000 international mobilities are carried out by vocational training institutions in Catalunya with good benefits for all the communities involved: institutions, students and companies. Students attend their mobilities throughout all Europe mainly in France, Italy and Germany. Vocational training institutions also receive students from abroad in order to carry out their internship in Catalunya, promoting cultural exchange between students.

Vocational education and training degrees adapted to some specific companies are under implementation in order to create specific skills according to the needs of all those companies. It is beneficial not only for some specific sectors but also for the employment rates of the region.

Direct access from vocational training degree to university has also been implemented in order to facilitate university access to students. Some other implementations are access to vocational training degrees at any time and under any circumstances, as well as recognition of professional qualifications acquired through work experience.


Projects in the Region

The Department of Education of Catalonia also participates in several international projects in order to improve students’ learning. Some examples are COKLEECO, KeyMOB, NewMetro, PyireneFP, RE-FRAME, TransferInn, VETMO4TL, BOOST to it! VET’s CLIL and More4Europe. Some projects are intended, for instance, to improve the relationship between companies and vocational educational training institutions so students have more opportunities to attend their internships abroad. Others, instead, are designed to boost innovation in both companies and vocational training institutions from all regions that participate in the project, so vocational training institutions can take advantage of those skills and teach their students properly.

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