Council of Ministers

The Government approves a new Vocational Training law that adjusts professional profiles to the demands of companies

Moncloa Palace, Madrid, Tuesday 7 September 2021

The Council of Ministers has approved the referral to Parliament of the Draft Organic Law on the Organisation and Integration of Vocational Training, which consolidates a single, flexible and accreditable training offer, aimed at students and workers. The regulation has an financial schedule of 5.474 billion euros attached, of which 1.550 billion euros comes from the European Recovery and Resilience Funds.

The Minister for Education and Vocational Training, Pilar Alegría, has described the future law as "a transforming and modernising project for the country" that will improve the lives of citizens. She also thanked her predecessor, Isabel Celaá, who presented the regulation on 15 June, for her work.

Pilar Alegría emphasised that the document has been refined with the numerous contributions of the educational community, employers, trade unions and regional governments, with whom an intense dialogue and negotiation process was carried out. The minister appealed to parliamentary groups to ensure that the Lower House of Parliament approves the law with the greatest possible consensus.

Key aspects of the new Vocational Training

The minister stressed that all Vocational Training (VT) is integrated into a single system organised by degrees and aimed at students and workers, both employed and unemployed, so that they can plan training itineraries according to their expectations and needs. "We are ending this two-part model of educational vocational training and vocational training for employment and we are providing our country with a single system without additional names, which is much more flexible and accessible", she remarked.

Alegría explained that the meetings with businesses and trade unions are making it possible to determine which professionals will be in demand by the productive fabric, so that the new VT will make it possible for companies to obtain the professional profiles they need.

All training will be dual. In other words, it is guaranteed that all VT students will have the possibility of a training period and an internship in the company. The minister specified that general VT will have an internship period of between 25% and 35% and intensive VT between 35% and 50%. In the latter case, there will be a paid contractual relationship between the student and the company.

Pilar Alegría also stressed that the educational offer is linked to digitalisation, internationalisation, entrepreneurship and sustainability. Over the last two years, she recalled, the Government has launched 25 new qualifications in line with emerging sectors.

Training backpacks, university connection and accreditation of skills

Pool MoncloaThe minister indicated that each citizen will be able to acquire training through the different VT itineraries, which will be added to their "training backpack", and will have a vocational guidance service available.

The regional governments will be able to adapt training to the reality of the productive fabric of each of their regions and introduce their own training complements.

The regulation governs the relationship between Vocational Training and university education, facilitating the design of training itineraries that allow for a smooth transition between the two systems, in both directions, and to work on joint projects.

Another aspect highlighted by the minister is that the accreditation of professional skills acquired through work experience and non-formal training is improved. The Government expects more than three million people to be able to accredit their skills over the next three years, compared to 300,000 under the previous model.

New VT places

Pilar Alegría stated that the Executive has made a commitment to implement 200,000 VT places in four years. It has already funded 120,000 in the 2020/2021 academic year, another 60,000 will be funded in the 2021/2022 academic year and the rest will be launched by 2023.

The minister stressed that the vocational training project approved today will reduce youth unemployment rates, which currently stand at 35%. "Enhancing vocational training is the best way to invest in modernising the economy and reducing youth unemployment," she said.

Law on University Coexistence

Pool MoncloaThe Government has approved the referral to Parliament of the draft Law on University Coexistence, which repeals the existing 1954 law.

The Minister for Territorial Policy and Government Spokesperson, Isabel Rodríguez, pointed out that it was necessary to update this law in order to adapt it fully to the constitutional framework and reformulate the framework for university coexistence, placing the emphasis on the exercise of freedoms and fundamental rights and on mediation as the main means of resolving conflicts.

The text, whose preliminary draft was approved last May and subsequently submitted for public consultation, states that public and private universities must adopt rules of coexistence that guarantee respect for diversity and tolerance, equality and the inclusion of vulnerable groups; freedom of expression, the right of assembly and association, freedom of teaching and academic freedom; the elimination of all forms of violence, discrimination and harassment; transparency in the development of academic activity, and the use and conservation of goods and resources in accordance with their public service function.

Universities shall set up a Coexistence Committee, made up of representatives of the student body, teaching and research staff and administration and services staff, elected by the faculty on the basis of proposals from each sector, guaranteeing the principle of a balanced composition between men and women.

Support fund for business solvency

The Council of Ministers has authorised the granting of 25 million euros in aid to the Rugui Steel Group, which operates in Castilla y León, Navarre and the Basque Country. This aid will be channelled through a participative loan of 13.5 million euros and an ordinary loan of 11.5 million euros.

The public support comes from the 10 billion euros Solvency Support Fund for Strategic Companies. This mechanism, the spokeswoman recalled, was approved by the Government in July 2020 with the aim of strengthening the solvency of companies affected by the pandemic and considered strategic for the national or regional productive fabric.

Isabel Rodríguez stated that the company is considered as such because it supplies two very important sectors, the automotive and naval sectors, and she also valued its territorial impact in Soria, "a province that deserves special attention from the Government due to depopulation".

"This agreement symbolises what kind of development we want from the Government", said the minister, who defended a fair, transformative and modernising recovery of the country for "each and every Spaniard and all the territories of our country".

Public investment in Galicia

The Government has approved the 44 million euro investment in various public projects in Galicia.

The first two infrastructure contracts are a 28.7 million euro contract for the northern bypass of the N-120 in Ourense and a 13.9 million euro contract for the maintenance of energy installations on various railway lines. The third earmarks 1.4 million euros for intervention on the buildings of two Guardia Civil barracks in El Ferrol and Ourense.

Convening of the Follow-up Commission of the Plan to combat hate crime

On behalf of the Government, Isabel Rodríguez has condemned the homophobic aggression suffered by a young man yesterday in Madrid and has announced the convening, next Friday, of the Follow-up Commission of the Plan to combat hate crimes, which will be chaired by the head of the Executive, Pedro Sánchez.

The Council of Ministers will also ask the parliamentary groups in Congress to speed up the processing of the Equality and Non-Discrimination Law, which was sent to the legislative chamber on 27 May.

"Hate crimes require and must receive the maximum social and political reproach, banishing them is the task of society as a whole and it is our obligation to condemn all speeches that encourage them", said Isabel Rodríguez, who has shown the government's commitment to a tolerant, plural and diverse Spain "in which everyone can develop fully as they feel and without being questioned, much less threatened or attacked, for any condition, homophobia, xenophobia or for ideological reasons".

Current Affairs

Pool MoncloaWith regard to the renewal of the General Council of the Judiciary, and after being asked by the media at the press conference following the meeting of the Council of Ministers, Isabel Rodríguez said that "we must be categorical: there are no longer any excuses for blocking the governing body of judges for more than 1,000 days and failing to comply with the constitutional mandate". Rodríguez has conveyed the same message about the similar situation of other constitutional bodies such as the Constitutional Court, the Court of Auditors and the Ombudsman.

Regarding the convening of the round table with Catalonia, the minister said that a date has yet to be set, and reiterated the Government's firm commitment to dialogue and reunion.

Rodríguez also reiterated the commitments made by the President of the Government of Spain for the total electricity bill at the end of this year to be approximately the same as in 2018 and to increase the minimum professional wage (MPW) - already increased by 30% - to 60% in this legislature.

Non official translation