Youth training in Spain must adapt to the needs of the labor market in a more global, interconnected and ever-changing world in which talent is key.

The school dropout rate, inefficient career guidance and the mismatch between the education system and business fabric are the main causes of the high level of youth unemployment in Spain, doubling the EU average. More specifically:

• Some 35% of Spanish people aged 25 to 34 abandoned their studies having completed compulsory secondary education (up to the age of 16) compared to 15% in the EU22.
• Only 24% of Spanish youth pursue vocational training (Formación Profesional – FP), compared to some 34% in the EU22.
• In contrast, the numbers in terms of university students in Spain are similar to those in Germany and France.

In addition, in the case of dual vocational training, penetration amounts to just 3% compared with 60% in Germany. It is, however, important to point out that, since 2009, enrolment in the various stages of vocational training has grown by some 71.6%, reaching around 800,000 students. Likewise, the number of young people enrolled in dual vocational training has increased by some 457% since 2012 (from 4,292 to 23,919), the number of training institutes similarly rising (from 173 to 894) along with the number of businesses committed to this stage of training (from 517 to 9,916).

It is necessary to design a new education model by means of a Government Pact, prioritizing not only the updating of models and content, but also greater guidance and collaboration at an institutional, educational and business level. The achievement of this would enable a reduction in
youth unemployment, the retention and attraction of talent and the fostering of the competitiveness of the Spanish economy, contributing to increasing the confidence of young people with respect to their future.

64.3% of job creation up to 2025 will be focused on the “technicians and professionals” category, i.e. that which is most closely related to vocational training. As a result, the Círculo de Empresarios, in conjunction with A.T. Kearney, analyzes in this position statement the main inefficiencies in the educational infrastructure, as well as the the content and management model of the current vocational training system, offering a series of recommendations to all players involved that are inspired by the benchmark European countries.

Notable among our recommendations are:

• To make the offering of vocational training comparable to the European average, requiring the creation of 150,000 new places with a high degree of geographical capillarity. And, in the case of establishing an ambitious goal of achieving the average of the benchmark countries, headed up by Austria and Switzerland, this figure would amount to 350,000 new places.
• To review educational content whilst increasing the involvement of the business world.
• The need to strengthen career guidance during compulsory secondary education.
• The urgent need to drive dual vocational training within the business fabric in Spain.

Reaching this necessary Government Pact would generate more inclusive growth, favoring the sustainability of the Welfare State and greater social progress.



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