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Spain:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

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Overview Spain

Contents

Spain:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Spain:Historical Development

Spain:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Spain:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Spain:Political and Economic Situation

Spain:Organisation and Governance

Spain:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Spain:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Spain:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Spain:Organisation of Private Education

Spain:National Qualifications Framework

Spain:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Spain:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Spain:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Spain:Funding in Education

Spain:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Spain:Higher Education Funding

Spain:Adult Education and Training Funding

Spain:Early Childhood Education and Care

Spain:Organisation of Early Childhood Education and Care

Spain:Teaching and Learning in Early Childhood Education and Care

Spain:Assessment in Early Childhood Education and Care

Spain:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Spain:Primary Education

Spain:Organisation of Primary Education

Spain:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Spain:Assessment in Primary Education

Spain:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Spain:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Spain:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

Spain:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

Spain:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

Spain:Vocational Lower Secondary Education: Basic Vocational Training cycles

Spain:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Spain:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Spain:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Spain:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Spain:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Spain:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Spain:Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Spain:Higher Education

Spain:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Spain:First Cycle Programmes

Spain:Bachelor

Spain:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Spain:Second Cycle Programmes

Spain:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Spain:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Spain:Adult Education and Training

Spain:Distribution of Responsibilities

Spain:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Spain:Main Providers

Spain:Main Types of Provision

Spain:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Spain:Teachers and Education Staff

Spain:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Spain:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Spain:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Spain:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Spain:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Spain:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Spain:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Spain:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Spain:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Spain:Management and Other Education Staff

Spain:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Spain:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Spain:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Spain:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Spain:Management Staff for Higher Education

Spain:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Spain:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Spain:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Spain:Quality Assurance

Spain:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Spain:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Spain:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Spain:Educational Support and Guidance

Spain:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Spain:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Spain:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Spain:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Spain:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Spain:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Spain:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Spain:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Spain:Mobility and Internationalisation

Spain:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Spain:Mobility in Higher Education

Spain:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Spain:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Spain:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Spain:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Spain:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Spain:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Spain:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Spain:National Reforms in School Education

Spain:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Spain:National Reforms in Higher Education

Spain:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Spain:European Perspective

Spain:Legislation

Spain:Institutions

Spain:Bibliography

Spain:Glossary

Contents

2016

Spain’s priorities regarding European funds

At the end of December 2015, the European Commission approved the Spanish Employment, Training and Education Operational Programme and the regional operational programmes of Andalusia, Aragon, Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, Castile-La Mancha, Catalonia, Extremadura, Madrid and Valencia.

EUR 8 533 million from the European Social Fund and the Youth Employment Initiative will be invested in order to improve employment, education and training and support social inclusion.

This amount will be distributed between State and regional programmes as follows:

  • EUR 5 310 698 319 to the operational programmes of the central State administration (Employment, Training and Education O.P., Youth Employment O.P., Social Inclusion and Social Economy O.P. and Technical Assistance O.P.)
  • EUR 3 222 367 133 to the operational programmes of the Autonomous Communities.

The Employment, Training and Education Operational Programme and regional operational programmes are aimed at:

  • reducing the difficulties of vulnerable groups in finding a job
  • increasing employment and the quality of jobs and eliminating the factors leading to inequality between men and women
  • reducing the risk of poverty, improving education and training and reducing early school leaving.

This investment is intended to lead to the following results regarding participation in subsidised activities:

  • more than a million participants in projects financed by the Employment, Training and Education Operational Programme related to employment: incentives for permanent recruitment, job search guidance, promotion of entrepreneurship or dual vocational training
  • more than five hundred thousand people benefiting from the increase in vocational training provision or combating early school leaving
  • around a hundred thousand people will participate in projects related to social inclusion and the reduction of the risk of poverty, including integrated pathways to social inclusion.

2016 Annual Employment Policy Plan

It was approved in August by the Ministry of Employment and Social Security.

It comprises a total of 530 services and programmes to be developed by the Autonomous Communities or the State Public Employment Service. Its strategic objectives, lines of action and specific measures related to education and training continue along the same path established by the 2015 Plan. For more information, see 2015 Annual Employment Policy Plan.

The 2016 Plan introduces two new measures related to education and training in the area of guidance:

  • personalised support in the development of their employment path and regarding compliance with the obligations of their commitment
  • joint action programme to improve the attention received by the long-term unemployed.

The budget allocation intended to finance the implementation of employment policies is EUR 5 265 807.13, which will be funded through:

  • the vocational training for employment contribution: EUR 1 904 641.01
  • the State: EUR 2 878 166.12
  • contributions from the European Union: EUR 483 000.00.

A total of EUR 1 800 795.50 will be distributed among the Autonomous Communities for their management:

  • EUR 1 671 795.50 will be distributed in accordance with the criteria approved by the Sectoral Committee for Employment and Labour Issues, on the basis of the relative importance attached to each Autonomous Community in 2015 (30%) and depending on the degree of compliance with the objectives set in the 2015 Annual Employment Policy Plan (70%)
  • EUR 129 million is intended to cover the financing of the Joint Action Programme on the Long-Term Unemployed.

DISTRIBUTION OF FUNDS

AUTONOMOUS COMMUNITIES

TOTAL ACTIVE EMPLOYMENT POLICIES

TOTAL JOINT ACTION PROGRAMME

Andalusia

337 756 770

31 863 000

Aragon

46 999 388

2 734 800

Asturias

48 295 919

3 702 300

Balearic Islands

34 730 043

1 457 700

Canary Islands

102 163 062

9 042 900

Cantabria

22 706 920

1 509 300

Castile-La Mancha

75 587 883

7 133 700

Castile-Leon

98 293 201

6 553 200

Catalonia

260 028 780

14 718 900

Valencia

163 506 697

16 718 400

Extremadura

67 701 713

3 986 100

Galicia

129 296 983

7 972 200

Madrid

210 209 218

14 925 300

Murcia

36 886 745

6 200 394.82

Navarre

18 414 236

1 225 500

Rioja

9 611 647

593 400

TOTAL

1 671 795 500

129 000 00

Source: Drawn up by Eurydice Spain-Spanish Network for Information on Education (National Centre for Educational Innovation and Research, Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport) on the basis of the Sectoral Committee for Employment and Labour Issues.

2015

Changes in the training and learning contract

This contract is aimed at encouraging workers to become professionally qualified through work-linked training schemes, which combine work with training within the framework of vocational training for employment or vocational training of the education system.

The professional qualification acquired, which must be related to the job performed by the worker, is accredited through a procedure for the evaluation and accreditation of professional competences acquired through work experience or non-formal training, enabling partial accreditation of the training leading to the award of the relevant certificate of professional experience or vocational qualification.

For more information, see Work-linked training and Validation of non-formal and informal learning.

In 2014, 152 000 training and learning contracts were signed, representing an increase of 40% compared with 2013, and of more than 100% from 2012. Around 60 000 contracts are signed every year.

In January, the Ministry of Employment and Social Security modified some aspects:

  • the complementary training linked to these contracts must correspond to one or several of the training specialisations included in the Training Specialisations File and, therefore, meet the requirements of the training programmes developed by the State Public Employment Service
  • institutions or companies providing complementary training must be registered, in the corresponding specialisation, in the Training Institutions and Organisations Registry.

The figure of the company tutor, with the following functions, is also introduced:

  • communicate with the training institution through the tutor in the institution
  • coordinate, together with the tutor in the training institution, the development of the training programme corresponding to the training activity of the contract, which determines the learning outcomes of the action and the evaluation criteria
  • monitor the agreement for the training activity, in order to assess the development of the programme and establish the necessary training support
  • collaborate with the tutor in the training institution in the evaluation of the learning developed both during and at the end of the contract
  • ensure that the worker complies with the relevant health and safety at work protocols associated with the different workplaces and learning
  • produce, on completion of the activity, a report on the work carried out by the worker and the learning results achieved in the company.

Urgent reform of the system of vocational training for employment

This reform responds to a series of weaknesses in the system identified by the Government and other employment organisations:

  • poor coordination of the overall system
  • lack of strategic planning
  • slight links of training with the productive fabric
  • inefficient definition of the players involved in the system.

The goal is to promote a vocational training for employment that responds to the needs of the labour market and that is aimed at improving the employability of workers, their abilities and professional competences, as well as business competitiveness.

The new Royal Decree-Act will establish four strategic objectives:

  • secure the right to training for all workers, especially the most vulnerable
  • increased competitiveness of companies through training
  • strengthening of collective bargaining when adapting training provision to the needs of the productive system
  • efficiency and transparency in the management of public resources.

These objectives are in turn grouped around ten pillars:

  • design of a system that ensures consistency and coordination among all relevant authorities, and that makes flexibility in the management and adaptation of training to the specific characteristics of each area of competences compatible with a common legislation and information system
  • definition of a new role for the different players and bodies participating in the governance of the system. Social partners will no longer participate in the management of funds or in the delivery of training, focusing instead on the planning, programming and dissemination of the training provision
  • development of an efficient labour market observation and research system, in order to detect changes in the qualifications and skills required by the productive fabric
  • multi-annual programming of all the training provision on the basis of the labour market research and the identification of priority objectives. This programming will be carried out with the collaboration of social partners
  • competitive calls for proposals open to all authorised and/or registered training providers as a rule for the management of the funds to finance the training programmes of the different public authorities
  • new approach in vocational training for employment initiatives, placing companies and workers at the heart of the system. This reform presents a new role for the training programmed by the company for its workers, which will be the main tool to provide an immediate response to labour market needs, while meeting workers’ adaptation, qualification and employability needs
  • organisation of new ways of having continuous access to training. Among other measures, public employment services can offer unemployed workers a training cheque that allows for freedom of choice between the different training institutions available. In addition, online training, as opposed to traditional distance learning, is promoted
  • implementation of an Integrated Information System ensuring that all information on the system of vocational training for employment is constantly updated through three instruments:
    • Training account, that reflects workers’ training history and adapts training provision in order to increase their employability
    • Training Specialisations File, the reference point for all the training provision programmed for employed and unemployed workers
    • Training Institutions and Organisations Registry, that includes the results of the audits and quality controls carried out at those institutions
  • implementation of a continuous evaluation process and at all stages of the training process. The emphasis is placed on quality and the actual impact of training
  • zero-tolerance towards fraud in the management of public funds. 

Finally, vocational training for employment initiatives are organised into three main categories:

  • training programmed by companies for their workers
  • training provision offered by the relevant authorities, which must take the Multi-Annual Training Programming as a frame of reference, as well as Annual Reports identifying training needs. In addition, it must guarantee the principles of publicity, objectivity and free competition in the management of the public calls for proposals for the financing of training activities:
    • for employed workers: including sectoral and cross-cutting training programmes, as well as professional qualification and recognition programmes
    • for unemployed workers: including training programmes, specific training programmes and training programmes with recruitment commitment. This training provision requires an individual diagnosis of the worker’s training needs, and priority is given to those with a low level of qualifications
  • other vocational training for employment initiatives:
    • individual training leaves
    • work-linked training
    • non-publicly funded training developed by private institutions and bodies, leading to the award of certificates of professional experience
    • training initiatives for public employees, people who are deprived of their freedom and military personnel whose employment relationship with the Armed Forces is temporary.

Vocational training for employment provision can be classroom-based, distance or mixed, organised by the following bodies:

  • companies developing training actions for their own employees, as well as for unemployed workers, either through a training action with recruitment commitment or other agreements with public employment services
  • relevant public authorities in the field of vocational training for employment, either through their own institutions (public national reference institutions or integrated vocational training institutions) or agreements with authorised public bodies or companies 
  • public or private training bodies, authorised and/or registered in the relevant registry.

All bodies seeking to provide this type of training must be registered in the relevant registry approved by the corresponding public authority of the Autonomous Community where they are located, and authorised by such authority if they offer training leading to the award of certificates of professional experience. In the case of bodies providing distance training, or offering training in more than one Autonomous Community, they will have to be registered and authorised by the State Public Employment Service. 

Regarding the governance of the system, the following powers for the bodies and players involved are established:

  • General Council of the National Employment System: main consultative and participatory body for public authorities and social partners
  • relevant public authorities: each authority is responsible for the programming, management and control of vocational training for employment within their own territory. The State Public Employment Service fully or partly performs such function in the case of bodies offering training in more than one Autonomous Community, training actions that transcend the territory of an Autonomous Community, training actions related to State powers, or actions developed in the Autonomous Cities of Ceuta and Melilla. Regional authorities and the State Public Employment Service have to inform each other of the training activities developed within their own territories
  • State Foundation for Training in Employment: this public and State foundation comprises the State General Administration, the Autonomous Communities and the most representative business and union organisations. It constitutes a collaborating body, provides technical support to the State Public Employment Service, and supports the Ministry in the strategic development of the system of vocational training for employment in the work sphere
  • sectoral joint structures: these structures are made up of the most representative business and union organisations as well as the most representative of the relevant sector, in the context of sectoral collective bargaining at State level or through specific agreements in the field of training also at State level. Although their specific duties and functioning are still to be determined, their task will be to anticipate training needs, adapt to the specific features of the productive sector and propose reference quality plans based on their knowledge of the real productive circumstances. 

The system of vocational training for employment must be subject to a continuous evaluation process that enables to determine the impact of the training actions developed, also in terms of labour market integration and career progression.

The State Public Employment Service, together with regional authorities, will annually develop a plan to evaluate the quality, impact, effectiveness and efficiency of the overall system, including the actions provided by companies, whose conclusions and recommendations will lead to the introduction of improvements in its functioning. The bodies responsible for the management, programming and control of vocational training for employment carry out a continuous evaluation within their own territory, which includes:

  • a previous study justifying the need for the different training actions according to the labour market needs
  • the establishment of previous, specific and quantifiable objectives, accompanied by transparent monitoring indicators
  • the measurement of the impact of actions, in terms of the integration on unemployed workers into the labour market, or improved job performance or promotion opportunities in the case of employed workers
  • a user satisfaction evaluation
  • a systematic analysis of the recommendations and conclusions resulting from the evaluation, so that they can translate into improvements in the system. 

A Labour Inspection Unit specialised in training is to be set up and changes are to be made in punitive regulations, including the exclusion of offenders from the system for 5 years.

This Royal Decree-Act entered into force following its publication in the Spanish Official Gazette last March.

Expenditure on employment and training promotion policies in 2015

The State Budget for 2015 was approved in December 2014. The budget earmarked for policies for the promotion of employment is EUR 4 746.36 million, which represents an increase of 16.5% compared to 2014.

Of this figure, assistance requested from the European Social Fund to finance certain actions which affect the expenditure of the State Public Employment Service on active employment policies amounts to EUR 500 million. 

The Programme for the Promotion of Labour Market Inclusion and Job Stability includes the promotion and management of employment and vocational training for employment. It is the programme with the highest amount of credit, EUR 4 041.56 million.

Its main lines of action in the field of education and training are the following:

LINES OF ACTION

AMOUNT

Professional requalification of people who have exhausted entitlement to employment benefit, combining active employment policies and the back-up aid planned.

EUR 285 million.

Vocational training for employment (which represents a decrease of 8.6% compared to 2014):

  • training for people in work
  • training for the unemployed
  • public employment and training programmes (young people under 25 and unemployed people aged 25 or above)
  • flexibility: training and requalification

Main actions to be financed with funds for training for the unemployed:

  • individual training leaves (included in the reduction in Social Security contributions)
  • programme-contracts for the training of workers and actions to complement and support training
  • current and capital expenditure of the Tripartite Foundation for Training in Employment

EUR 1 971.02 million.

  • EUR 936.01 million.
  • EUR 766.83 million.
  • EUR 245.44 million.
  • EUR 22.74 million.

EUR 899.56 million.

  • EUR 605 million.
  • EUR 299.97 million.
  • EUR 31.04 million.

Source: Drawn up by Eurydice Spain-Spanish Network for Information on Education (National Centre for Educational Innovation and Research, Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport) on the basis of the Economic and Financial Report of the State Budget for 2015.

Reform of the National Employment System and implementation of the reform of active employment policies

Common Employment Services Portfolio of the National Employment System

The 2020 Strategy of European Public Employment Services envisages that Public Employment Services are responsible for the quality of the services offered, providing the mechanisms to support the management of individual professional careers. The provision of these employment services must respond to the needs of citizens and companies with greater effectiveness, efficiency, flexibility and accuracy.

The Common Employment Services Portfolio of the Spanish National Employment System must:

  • help workers to find a job suited to their characteristics, and employers to recruit workers suited to their needs
  • facilitate professional and geographical mobility in order to address the mismatch between labour supply and demand
  • gather information and analyse the situation and evolution of the labour market
  • become linked to the unemployment protection system, subject to job seekers’ commitment that they are actively seeking work and willing to accept a suitable job
  • be coordinated with the remaining active employment policies.

It aims to ensure equal access across the State to public employment services and the services they provide, as well as equal access to employment.

The establishment of a personalised employment path appears both as a right for unemployed people and an obligation for Public Employment Services. This assistance can be provided directly through public employment offices or Public Employment Services partners, or virtually through the Employment Portal.

The Portfolio will be updated on the basis of a regular assessment of the cost, effectiveness, efficiency, user satisfaction, effects and usefulness of the services included, through a commission established for that purpose within the Sectoral Committee for Employment and Labour Affairs.

Users of the services include:

  • unemployed or employed people who, depending on their needs, can be job seekers and services applicants, or just services applicants: they are entitled to receive these services through personalised attention and adapted to their expectations and needs, on the basis of their profile.
    • unemployed people: it is based on the personalised employment path, which includes compliance with the commitment to active participation in the services specified in the personal employment agreement
    • unemployment benefit recipients: it includes compliance with the obligations of their commitment that they are actively seeking work and willing to accept a suitable job. Unjustified non-compliance may result in the application of the penalties provided for.

Public Employment Services, within their own territory, may establish access requirements for certain services and activities, and they may also require previous registration as a job seeker and/or services applicant in order to have access to them. In any case, unemployment benefit recipients are required to be registered as job seekers.

  • companies, regardless of their legal status, which, depending on their needs, can be employers or services applicants.

When it comes to the provision of services, cooperation between public and private actors, social players and other partner institutions is sought. In particular, Public Employment Services promote collaboration with employment agencies.

Services related to training

Career guidance

  • information, diagnosis of the individual situation, advice, motivation and career transition support, either from education to employment or between the different employment and unemployment situations throughout working life
  • support for users to improve their employability, enhance their career development and facilitate their recruitment or advise on self-employment. Based on a diagnosis of their needs, guidance may lead to the provision of other specialised services

Activities:

a) individual diagnosis and development of the profile: specific attention is paid to users in order to identify their skills, competences, training and experience, interests, family situation and possible professional opportunities, or other relevant variables. This information is used to develop the user’s profile and classify it according to employability

b) design of the personalised employment path: the process seen as more appropriate for users to have access to employment, according to their profile, needs and expectations, and including the main actions being proposed and the implementation schedule, as well as verification and monitoring elements, is developed and communicated to users. Both users and the public employment service must have previously signed a personal employment agreement

This path must, at least, include:
1st. identification of professional choices on the basis of a reasoned analysis of employment opportunities in Spain, the European Union and at international level to which users may have access according to their professional profile
2nd. identification of a training path through the proposal of training and/or accreditation of work experience or non-formal training actions in order to improve users’ competences and professional skills
3rd. identification of active job search actions users, according to their profile, are obliged to conduct

c) personalised support in the development of the path and regarding compliance with the obligations of their commitment that they are actively seeking work and willing to accept a suitable job: The tutor or counsellor individually monitors the actions being undertaken by users when developing their path, revises it, supervises compliance with milestones, stages and obligations, as well as with the obligations of their commitment in the case of unemployment benefit recipients, and any other advice, information or support functions he/she may carry out in order to facilitate the activation of users and improve their employability

d) advice and technical support for:
1st. definition of their CV, reflecting their professional profile in terms of professional competences: It comprises information and personal advice, as well as the provision of instruments and techniques in order to prepare it
2nd. implementation of techniques for an active job-seeking: It includes information and the basic use of available media, techniques and tools for job search, including web-based technology and the use of social networks

e) additional information and advice on:
1st. the situation in the labour market, active employment policies and the provision of common and complementary services
2nd. the training provision and programmes facilitating European mobility for training and qualification

f) support in the management of labour mobility: it includes information, advice and support to geographical and functional mobility at the national, European and international levels, in order to take advantage of job opportunities they might have access to, including access to the information available via the EURES network.

Training and employment skills

  • it promotes training, professional qualification, requalification and the constant updating of professional competences facilitating the transition to employment, adapting training provision and that of training providers to the needs of the labour market
  • coordination with the career guidance service, for counselling and managing the skills and qualifications of the professional profiles which meet the requirements of the labour market and the productive system, is essential. It is also important to be able to anticipate the needs of the productive sectors
  • it improves users’ professional competences through creditable training provision and non-formal training, as well as the recognition of competences acquired through work experience
  • it requires the maintenance of integrated information systems allowing to update the Training Institutions and Organisations State Registry, the Training Specialisations File, a map of the training programmes available at any given time, as well as workers’ training accounts

Activities:

a) vocational training for employment that meets users’ needs: the programming of vocational training for employment provision is based on a prior diagnosis of needs, priorities, objectives and recommendations, the training offered by companies for their workers, and work-linked training

It must promote dual vocational training through training and learning contracts.

The programming must ensure sufficient training in order to facilitate the acquisition of professional competences according to the personalised employment path, the training needs identified and the coverage of key skills and transversal skills for employment.

b) control, monitoring and evaluation of the quality of Public Employment Services training and quality assurance systems

c) evaluation, recognition and accreditation of professional competences acquired through work experience: Actions intended to facilitate the evaluation, recognition and accreditation of the professional competences that have been acquired

d) maintenance and updating of the training account: it includes workers’ training record and its reflection in the training account associated to the Social Security number

e) registration, accreditation and selection of vocational training for employment institutions and organisations: it comprises the definition and implementation of the system for the accreditation, registration and advertising of the training institutions and organisations, and their interconnection with the Training Institutions and Organisations State Registry

f) management of European instruments to encourage mobility in vocational training and qualification.

Advice for self-employment and entrepreneurship

  • It supports and promotes entrepreneurial initiatives and employment and self-employment generation initiatives, linking them to the users that are best suited to them according to their profile and skills, with particular regard to self-employment, social economy and the promotion of local economic development

Activities:

  • information and qualified support actions for users who are interested in promoting their own employment or in undertaking a productive activity which involves the creation of jobs, and especially initiatives to monitor and support entrepreneurs who have decided to receive their unemployment benefit in a single payment through forms of technical assistance and training
  • actions to disseminate, promote and support the establishment of cooperatives, worker-owned companies and other social economy organisations, as well as training and technical assistance actions for their setting-up and launching
  • qualified information and support to process existing aid for entrepreneurship, self-employment and social economy, as well as incentives and ways of encouraging recruitment from which entrepreneurs can benefit, in particular self-employed users and social economy organisations.

Source: Drawn up by Eurydice Spain-Spanish Network for Information on Education (National Centre for Educational Innovation and Research, Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport) on the basis of regulations.

The content of the activities included in the Common Employment Services Portfolio, as well as the protocols and quality criteria for the delivery of these services, will be developed by the Ministry of Employment and Social Security in collaboration with the Autonomous Communities.

The Portfolio will be periodically assessed in order to determine the effectiveness, efficiency, quality and impact of the services, as well as user satisfaction. The State Public Employment Service is responsible for coordinating these evaluations within the National Employment System.

2014-2016 Spanish Employment Activation Strategy

The regulatory development of this Strategy will be completed throughout 2015. It will also be monitored and compliance with its objectives on the basis of the system of indicators jointly developed by the State Public Employment Services and the Employment Services of the Autonomous Communities will be evaluated.

Its services and programmes are continually assessed.

2015 Annual Employment Policy Plan

It was published in August 2015 by the Ministry of Employment and Social Security.

Its objectives are in line with the 2014-2016 Spanish Employment Activation Strategy and represent a continuation of the objectives established in the 2014 Annual Employment Policy Plan.

It proposes a total of 422 services (or actions) and programmes (or measures) to be developed by the Autonomous Communities or the State Public Employment Service, with the aim of improving the use of the resources allocated to facilitate the integration of unemployed people into the labour market, and ensuring that they are effectively and efficiently used.

The strategic objectives are the following: 

  • improve the employability of young people and launch the Plan for the Implementation of Youth Guarantee in Spain
  • promote the employability of groups that are most affected by unemployment: People aged over 55, long-term unemployed and beneficiaries of the PREPARA Plan
  • improve the quality of vocational training for employment
  • strengthen linkages between active and passive employment policies
  • encourage entrepreneurship.

All measures and actions are organised into six lines of action and their corresponding areas. Those relating to education and training should be noted:

Lines of action and objectives 

Areas 

Actions or measures1

GUIDANCE 

  • provide information about the labour market and the measures and services offered by public employment services
  • individual diagnosis
  • management of personalised individual pathways.

Career guidance 

A total of 65 services and programmes:

  • 11 are common, shared by all members of the National Employment System
  • 54 are specific, aimed at the population of the Autonomous Community in question.

Common services and programmes related to the field of education and training are:

  • individual diagnosis and development of the professional profile
  • design of the personalised pathway
  • additional information and advice
  • employment and self-employment guidance schemes.

TRAINING 

  • increase the training effort in training for employment
  • ensure that training is better matched to labour market needs
  • encourage training that can be accredited
  • promote work-linked training
  • improve and consolidate evaluation and the recognition of professional competences
  • promote training provision that is aimed at groups experiencing particular difficulties entering the labour market 
  • improve the systems for the monitoring and evaluation of the quality of vocational training for employment.

Training and requalification

Employment and training opportunities

A total of 116 services and programmes: 13 are common and 103 specific.

Common services and programmes related to the field of education and training are:

  • vocational training for employment in accordance with users’ needs
  • control, monitoring and evaluation of the quality of training
  • evaluation, recognition and accreditation of professional competences acquired through work experience
  • maintenance and updating of the training account
  • registration and accreditation of vocational training for employment institutions and organisations
  • training plans primarily aimed at employed workers
  • training actions primarily aimed at the unemployed
  • specific training programmes aimed at people with special training needs or facing difficulties entering the labour market or being requalified
  • training actions with recruitment commitment primarily aimed at the unemployed 
  • work-linked training schemes: workshop-schools, trade training centres and employment workshops
  • placements in companies
  • procedure for the evaluation and accreditation of professional competences acquired through work experience or non-formal training
  • training support and accompanying actions.

EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES IN ACCESS TO EMPLOYMENT

  • remove obstacles to employment
  • promote functional and sectoral mobility 
  • promote geographical mobility.

Promotion of equal opportunities in employment

Promotion of mobility

A total of 28 services and programmes: 4 are common and 24 specific.

Common services and programmes related to the field of education and training are:

  • labour mobility management support service
  • management of European instruments to promote mobility in vocational training and qualifications
  • support to mobility schemes: ‘Your First EURES Job’
  • support to training and work experience programmes in other countries.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

  • training and guidance for entrepreneurs
  • foster a culture of entrepreneurship.

Self-employment and business creation

Promotion of development and economic activity

A total of 75 services and programmes: 9 are common and 66 specific.

Common services and programmes related to the field of education and training are:

  • counselling service for self-employment and entrepreneurship
  • advice about grants to entrepreneurial and self-employment initiatives
  • promotion of self-employment.
  • market studies and campaigns for employment promotion
  • projects and enterprises that have been granted the status of ‘innovatory and job-creating’.

IMPROVEMENT OF THE INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK OF THE NATIONAL EMPLOYMENT SYSTEM

  • improve management, collaboration, coordination and communication in the National Employment System
  • promote public-private partnerships
  • improve the quality of services
  • encourage the evaluation, innovation, modernisation and improvement of the System.

Cross-cutting nature

A total of 49 services and programmes: 7 are common and 42 specific.

Common services and programmes related to the field of education and training are:

  • maintenance of the Information System of Public Employment Services
  • single job portal
  • joint formalisation of the Framework Agreement for the contracting of services facilitating labour intermediation
  • good Practices Programme
  • programme for the launch of the information system required to implement Youth Guarantee.

(1) Adopted according to a series of eligibility criteria:

  • developed within the framework of the National Employment System
  • managed through the granting of subsidies, administrative contracts, agreements or direct management
  • at least some of the services and programmes are developed in 2015
  • address problems of the labour market that have been properly detected and identified previously
  • include elements to assess targets, purposes and results
  • are coherent with the rest of elements of this Annual Plan.

Source: Drawn up by Eurydice Spain-Spanish Network for Information on Education (National Centre for Educational Innovation and Research, Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport) on the basis of regulations.

The budget allocation intended to finance programmes or strengthen services facilitating the implementation of employment activation policies is almost EUR 4 800 million, which are funded through:

  • the vocational training for employment contribution: almost EUR 1 850 million
  • the State: almost EUR 2 270 million
  • contributions from the European Union: EUR 670 000 million.

A total of almost EUR 1 543 million are earmarked for the Autonomous Communities, for their management.

Distribution of funds between the Autonomous Communities for active employment policies

The distribution of funds between the Autonomous Communities for active employment policies corresponding to the 2015 financial period, which amounted to EUR 1 414.1 million (an increase of 14% compared to 2014), was approved in November.

The criteria for the distribution of these funds are the following:

  • 40% is distributed on the basis of the allocation percentage established the previous year for each Autonomous Community: about EUR 565 million
  • 60% is allocated depending on the degree of compliance with the objectives set in the 2014 Annual Employment Policy Plan, measured with global indicators for each Autonomous Community: about EUR 849 million.

In addition to these figures, there is also around EUR 129 million to finance the Extraordinary Employment Activation Programme. Of this amount, the Cabinet approved an initial allocation of EUR 52 million in July 2015.

DISTRIBUTION OF FUNDS (in EUR million)

AUTONOMOUS COMMUNITIES

TOTAL ACTIVE EMPLOYMENT POLICIES

TOTAL EMPLOYMENT ACTIVATION PROGRAMME

Andalusia

299 238 900

38 451 189.53

Aragon

38 515 647

2 781 293.96

Asturias

44 170 781

1 687 969.00

Balearic Islands

27 659 420

1 193 949.53

Canary Islands

85 046 327

11 076 035.06

Cantabria

20 850 753

993 770.52

Castile-La Mancha

64 419 390

9 860 872.94

Castile-Leon

81 820 549

5 578 834.33

Catalonia

206 458 140

12 548 141.01

Valencia

134 122 872

16 435 429.39

Extremadura

54 473 311

5 389 237.90

Galicia

110 995 929

6 556 607.58

Madrid

185 762 218

8 850 297.17

Murcia

36 886 745

6 200 394.82

Navarre

15 112 407

733 650.90

Rioja

8 557 282

550 845.36

TOTAL

1 414 100 671

128 888 519.00

Source: Drawn up by Eurydice Spain-Spanish Network for Information on Education (National Centre for Educational Innovation and Research, Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport) on the basis of the Cabinet’s Reference.

Actions aimed at improving employability

2013-2016 Strategy for Entrepreneurship and Youth Employment

In 2015, an 85% of the measures of the Strategy are now operational, and more than 350 000 young people aged under 25 benefit from some of them. A 66% are being offered some recruitment incentive and the remaining 34% benefit from measures for the promotion of self-employment or entrepreneurship, especially the flat rate of EUR 50 of social security contribution for the newly self-employed.

National Youth Guarantee System

  • the telematics means to register in the Youth Guarantee System are already operational, so that beneficiaries can obtain information concerning the measures of the System, as well as to monitor and evaluate the results achieved
  • a catalogue of measures to be developed by the State and the Autonomous Communities, according to their respective powers, has been defined. They include measures to improve the match between labour supply and demand and the professional competences of beneficiaries.

The measures adopted to achieve greater coordination between employment and education policies, and to increase the relevance of training for labour market inclusion, are also relevant for the purpose of fighting youth unemployment. Thus, new subsidies for Social Security contributions to promote the recruitment of young people in training by companies are established:

  • for companies hiring researchers exclusively devoted to R&D&i activities
  • for companies hiring university or vocational training students as remunerated trainees
  • for companies offering apprenticeship or training and learning contracts to Youth Guarantee beneficiaries:
    • apart from the subsidies of the training and learning contract itself, some others have been established in order to encourage this type of contract in the case of Youth Guarantee beneficiaries. In this way, the costs of the training and tutoring of the young people recruited are partly financed
    • traineeship contracts benefit from a 100% reduction in Social Security contributions.

Until December 2014, 46 342 young people had requested access to the System and 20 660 were already registered as they met all the requirements established. It continues being implemented this year in order to improve information processes and increase the number of beneficiaries registered.

Updating of the National Catalogue of Vocational Qualifications

This will contribute to adapting the certificates of professional experience and vocational training qualifications to the needs of the labour market and the productive sectors more easily, facilitating the implementation of the educational reform in vocational training and disseminating dual vocational training.

Spain’s priorities regarding European funds supporting employment activation policies

The programming of structural funds for the 2014-2020 period, already in its final stages of approval, helps support this approach to employment policies primarily focused on employment activation, in particular regarding young people and the long-term unemployed.

Spain will allocate EUR 3 590 million from the European Social Fund (ESF) to the 8th Thematic Objective: ‘Promote sustainability and quality in employment and encourage labour mobility’, which will be complemented by EUR 409 million from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), EUR 141 million from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) and EUR 50.5 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The actions of this Thematic Objective are included in two national Operational Programmes:

  • Youth Employment Operational Programme: it will contribute to the development of the Strategy for Entrepreneurship and Youth Employment, and will support the implementation of the National Youth Guarantee System. It has a total budget of EUR 2 360.6 million in terms of Community financial assistance.
  • Employment, Training and Education Operational Programme: it will have a budget of EUR 2 130 million of Community co-financing and will focus on measures to improve employability and the levels of education and training of people with no education or training, the unemployed or those in precarious employment. This Programme will also include funds from the 10th Thematic Objective: ‘Invest in education, training and vocational training for the acquisition of skills and lifelong learning’: EUR 5 million of the ESF, that will finance the updating of the National Catalogue of Vocational Qualification. The inclusion of this Thematic Objective is based on the necessity of strengthening the link between education and training and employment policies, especially in the field of employment activation and the matching of competences and labour market needs.

Implementation of the Act on the Improvement of the Quality of Education (2013), modifying the Education Act (2006), in secondary education

Entrepreneurship education

The basic curriculum for compulsory secondary education and Bachillerato, which will be implemented in the 2015/16 academic year in the 1st and 3rd years of compulsory secondary education and in the 1st year of Bachillerato, was approved in December 2014.

The Explanatory Memorandum of the new Act considers that education is the key to transformation into a more open, global and participative society, through the training of active self-confident, curious, enterprising and innovating people, wishing to make a contribution to the society they belong to and to create individual and collective value, and who assume ownership of the value of the balance between effort and reward.

It also states that one of the main objectives of the reform is to improve employability and encourage the entrepreneurial spirit of students:

  • organisation of the first cycle of compulsory secondary education, when it comes to subjects from the set of specific subjects: they will depend on the regulation and planning of the educational provision established by each education authority or, where appropriate, the school. These subjects can be different and students have to take a minimum of one and a maximum of four. ‘Introduction to Entrepreneurship and Business Activity’ is one of the subjects proposed
  • 4th year of the stage, within the applied subjects as an introduction to vocational training: this subject becomes one of the three optional subjects from which students have to take two
  • at the whole stage, entrepreneurship will be included in all the areas, without prejudice to a specific treatment in some of them
  • vocational training: the following objectives are formulated: ‘Develop a professional identity that encourages future learning and adaptation to the evolution of productive processes and social change’ and ‘Consolidate an entrepreneurial spirit to carry out business activities and initiatives’.

E-literacy, media literacy and innovative learning environments

The 1st and 3rd years of compulsory secondary education as well as the 1st year of Bachillerato will be implemented in the 2015/16 academic year, after approval of the basic curriculum of these types of provision in December 2014:

  • in the first cycle of compulsory secondary education, information and communication technologies (ICT) will be included in all the subjects of the three years, without prejudice to a specific treatment in any of the subjects
  • in the 4th year, ICT is one of the specific subjects from which students take a minimum of one and a maximum of three
  • in the two years of Bachillerato, it is again one of the specific subjects from which students have to take a minimum of two and a maximum of three. At this stage, a new order is established, changing its name to ‘Information and Communication Technologies I and I’ and ‘Information and Communication Technologies II’.

For more information, see National reforms in school education.

2014

Towards a new model of vocational training for employment

The labour reform of February 2012 and its regulatory developments laid the foundations for a change in the model of vocational training for employment, whose aim is to offer a more varied, decentralised and effective training provision, as well as to ensure a more efficient distribution of public resources.

In July, the State and social partners signed an agreement to strengthen economic growth and employment, and agreed to establish a new model of vocational training for employment which was scheduled to be operational as of 1 January 2015.

Reform of the National Employment System and implementation of the reform of active employment policies

In 2003, Spain established the instruments for the coordination of the National Employment System:

  • Spanish Employment Strategy
  • Annual Employment Policy Plan
  • Information System of Public Employment Services.

In order to achieve the employment objective of the European Union (EU) for 2020, a series of measures were articulated through active employment policies: a set of guidance, employment and training actions and measures aimed at improving the employment opportunities of the unemployed, as employed or self-employed persons, maintaining employment, the professional development of people in employment and the promotion of entrepreneurship and social economy.

In 2014, the Spanish National Employment System initiated a reform process which resulted in the establishment of the Common Employment Services Portfolio of the National Employment System in 2015, and the implementation of the reform of active employment policies, approved by the Cabinet in September 2014, through the 2014-2016 Employment Activation Strategy and the Annual Employment Policy Plan for 2014.

The main objectives of this new reform are to improve intermediation between labour supply and demand, add transparency to the system and make it goal-oriented.

2014-2016 Spanish Employment Activation Strategy

The 2014-2016 Spanish Employment Activation Strategy replaces the former 2012-2014 Spanish Employment Strategy and constitutes the regulatory framework for the coordination and implementation of active employment policies and labour intermediation in the State.

As for the objectives of the new Strategy, the following should be highlighted:

Global objectives:

  • coordination: in order to identify and channel, in an orderly manner, the efforts being made by the different actors of the system to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of employment activation policies
  • modernisation of Public Employment Services and the institutional framework of the National Employment System.


Specific objectives, which are included in Annual Employment Policy Plans. There are two types:

  • strategic or priority objectives: they allow the concentration of resources in those sectors, groups and areas of interest to which greater attention might be paid because they may have special difficulties in gaining access to the labour market, or because they have greater opportunities, viability or future prospects. They are annually established by the Government through Annual Employment Policy Plans
  • structural objectives: addressed through activities that are developed over a period of time. At times, they may have more or less relevance and require more or less effort, but they can seldom be completely stopped. The set of all structural objectives must be exhaustive, so that any possible action of active employment policies or labour intermediation must comply with one or several structural objectives. After an analysis of the previous Strategy, 29 structural objectives grouped into the six lines of action of employment activation policies were established. The objectives that are most closely related to education and training are mentioned below:

LINES OF ACTION

ACTIONS AND STRUCTURAL OBJECTIVES

Guidance

Actions

information, career guidance, motivation, advice, diagnosis and determination of the professional profile and skills, design and management of the individual learning pathway, job search and labour intermediation

Objectives

  1. inform about the labour market and employment offers, active and passive policies of the Public Employment Services, as well as incentives and available means to support entrepreneurial initiatives and the improvement of skills
  2. make an individual diagnosis or profile of job seekers including as much information as possible about relevant personal characteristics in order to measure their degree of employability and classify them according to their needs
  3. design, implement and monitor individual and personalised pathways towards employment, which include a proposal for the referral to actions to improve employability (development of personal aspects, active job search, individual learning pathway, entrepreneurship, among others)
  4. inform about and manage employment offers that are appropriate for each user, strengthening the reception and coverage of offers through a transparent and effective intermediation system
  5. contact companies in order to disseminate information on initiatives to facilitate integration into the labour market, conducting an assessment on the needs of companies and matching job offers and requests, and promote the emergence of latent offers.

Training

Actions

vocational training for employment actions, aimed at learning, training, requalification or retraining and work-linked training actions, so that beneficiaries can acquire skills or improve their work experience, in order to upgrade their qualifications and facilitate their integration into the labour market

Objectives

  1. increase the coverage rate and the number of hours of training per student, and facilitate access to training for unemployed and employed people
  2. revision and adaptation of vocational training for employment, establishing a training provision that takes into account the special features of the labour market in certain areas
  3. revision and adaptation of vocational training for employment, establishing a training provision that gives special priority to training leading to the award of certificates of professional experience
  4. promote work-linked training and work experience
  5. improve and consolidate the evaluation and recognition of professional competences
  6. promote training provision that is aimed at groups experiencing particular difficulties entering the labour market
  7. improve the systems for the monitoring and evaluation of the quality of vocational training for employment.

Equal opportunities in access to employment

Actions

actions aimed at encouraging equal access to employment, job retention and promotion for men and women, and the reconciliation of personal, family and working life. They also include actions aimed at facilitating geographical mobility or promoting recruitment in sectors different from those where they have regularly worked

Objectives

  1. establish measures removing or lowering barriers related to place of residence, socio-economic situation or certain personal circumstances, particularly in those sectors where women are underrepresented
  2. promote functional and sectoral mobility: Promote functional and sectoral mobility, particularly in those sectors or qualifications where there are few job prospects in the current labour market and within companies
  3. promote geographical mobility: Promote geographical mobility in order to take advantage of employment opportunities and training in other areas of the country and/or abroad
  4. promote measures encouraging the reconciliation of family and working life and joint responsibility.

Entrepreneurship

Actions

activities aimed at promoting entrepreneurship, self-employment and social economy, as well as those aimed at job creation, entrepreneurial activity and the revitalisation and promotion of local economic development

Objectives

  1. training and advice to entrepreneurs which improves the viability of business projects
  2. support for business initiatives, improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the services and assistance being offered
  3. promote territorial development, supporting the creation of new business initiatives in rural areas particularly
  4. foster a culture of entrepreneurship
  5. encourage self-employment: Engage the unemployed in self-employment and social economy.

Improvement of the institutional framework of the National Employment System

Actions

this line of action has a cross-cutting nature, so it affects all other lines of action. It includes actions aimed at improving management, collaboration, coordination and communication within the National Employment System and encouraging its modernisation

Objectives

  1. improve management, collaboration, coordination and communication within the National Employment System
  2. promote public-private partnerships
  3. improve the quality of services within the framework of the National Employment System
  4. encourage the evaluation, innovation, modernisation and improvement of the National Employment System.

Source: Drawn up by Eurydice Spain-Spanish Network for Information on Education (National Centre for Educational Innovation and Research, Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport) on the basis of regulations.

Other important aspects of this new Strategy are the instruments used so that it can be effectively implemented:

  • Annual Employment Policy Plans: they are the annual description of the Strategy.  They are jointly developed, every year, by the State Public Employment Service and regional employment services, on the basis of the services and programmes of employment activation policies they intend to implement
  • Services (actions) and programmes (measures): the present Strategy distinguishes conceptually between programmes and services; and between those which are common or to be implemented throughout the State, and those which are specific to each Autonomous Community and the State Public Employment Service. They are annually specified in the Annual Employment Policy Plan
  • Regulatory developments: in order to develop the Strategy, three sets of regulations must be developed: one in the field of services, a second one in terms of employment and a third one regarding vocational training for employment
  • Skills-based management: the modernisation of Public Employment Services must incorporate professional skills, in a transversal manner, as a central element of the services and programmes developed. This approach is in line with the new European instruments such as the ESCO (European Skills, Competences, Qualifications and Occupations) taxonomy, the new EURES Portal and the European Skills Passport, among others
  • Key elements: they strengthen the capacity of the actors of the National Employment System to achieve their objectives. Among others, they include: the Good Practices Programme, the single job portal and the launch of the information system for the implementation of Youth Guarantee.

The monitoring and evaluation of the Strategy are the essential means of gradually improving the system. Thus, two levels of monitoring and evaluation are established:

  1. compliance with the strategic and structural objectives
  2. detailed monitoring and evaluation of the services and programmes developed in order to meet those objectives.

Evaluation of compliance with the objectives

  • the first version of an evaluation system based on indicators, whose objective is to determine, for each year, the compliance rate of the structural and strategic objectives established in the Annual Employment Policy Plan by each Autonomous Community, was developed throughout 2013
  • indicators and their conceptual definition, which will be applied for the evaluation of compliance with the objectives of the Annual Employment Policy Plan, will be included every year
  • this evaluation system will be gradually improved and completed during the 3 years the new Strategy is in force, integrating the performance indicators used by the HoPES Network (Heads of Public Employment Services) of the EU, as well as the specific indicators for the monitoring of Youth Guarantee
  • the result of each annual evaluation will be taken into account when adopting the criteria for the distribution of funds for each period.

Monitoring and evaluation of services and programmes

  • it will be carried out by supervising all the actions managed within a service or programme, so it is necessary to collect all data in a detailed manner, in order to be able to exhaustively identify the participation of beneficiaries in the different programmes and services
  • the information included in the system can be used in the implementation of Youth Guarantee, where continuity in the training, integration into the labour market and job retention will be monitored through the Information System of Public Employment Services
  • the three new sets of regulations on services, employment and vocational training for employment will regulate what is necessary for the monitoring and evaluation of the quality, effectiveness, efficiency and impact of the services and programmes included in each set of regulations, as well as individual results
  • for each Annual Employment Policy Plan, the State Public Employment Service, together with regional public employment services, will draw up a report on the programmes and services included in the corresponding Annual Plan, as well as on the results obtained.

Source: Drawn up by Eurydice Spain-Spanish Network for Information on Education (National Centre for Educational Innovation and Research, Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport) on the basis of regulations.

Finally, the sources of funding of the services and programmes developed by central and regional Public Employment Services are the following:

  • State Budget: funds which will be entered in the budget of the Ministry of Employment and Social Security, to which the State Public Employment Service belongs
  • the resources of the Autonomous Communities: funds including those needed to finance staff, running costs and regional investment.
  • funds from the European Social Fund, which, during the lifetime of the present Strategy, include the remaining funds for the 2007-2013 programming period, to be used until 2015, and the amounts for the 2014-2020 programming period. For the 2014-2015 period, these funds specifically include the budget for the Youth Employment Initiative, which will be used for the effective implementation of the National Youth Guarantee System.

2014 Annual Employment Policy Plan

Actions aimed at improving employability: The National Youth Guarantee System

Its aim is that young people aged over 16 and under 25 (30 in the case of those with a disability assessed at 33% or greater) who are not employed or integrated into the education or training systems, receive an employment offer, education, an apprenticeship or traineeship on completion of formal education or after becoming unemployed.

The System is mainly focused on developing the following measures contained in the National Plan for the Implementation of Youth Guarantee:

  1. to improve intermediation: actions which contribute to the improvement of early activation and labour intermediation and mobility processes: career guidance, labour information and job-search assistance actions, mobility and education/employment intermediation programmes, or others of a similar nature
  2. to improve employability: actions which contribute to the improvement of professional skills and abilities: training with recruitment commitment, specific training in languages and information and communication technologies, traineeships, promotion of dual vocational training, training leading to certificates of professional experience, development of Workshop-Schools and Work and Training Centres and mixed employment/training programmes, development of second-chance programmes, targeted at early school leavers, or others of a similar nature
  3. to promote recruitment: actions which encourage labour market integration: promotion of the training contracts laid down by current regulations, training and promotion of employment for young researchers, or others of a similar nature
  4. to promote entrepreneurship: actions which support entrepreneurship, encouraging responsibility, innovation and entrepreneurship, and providing young people with more support services for the creation of businesses: promotion of entrepreneurial culture, measures to encourage self-employment and collective entrepreneurship within the context of the social economy, advice on self-employment and the creation of businesses, and training for entrepreneurship, or others of a similar nature.

In addition, the National Youth Guarantee System:

  • creates the file of the National Youth Guarantee System: the official information and monitoring tool regarding the implementation of Youth Guarantee in Spain and, at the same time, the single demand list and the means to register for those interested in the actions implemented in the context of Youth Guarantee. The Autonomous Communities may also, within the scope of their powers, establish specific files in order to facilitate registration and the processing of information. The data to be registered are: training received (whether formal or not), language training, certificates of professional experience and professional interests, preferences or concerns
  • establishes the procedures and requirements for registration in the System: only people who are registered in the file of the National Youth Guarantee System can benefit from the System. The requirements to register in the file are, among others, the following:
    • be between the ages of 16 and 25, or under 30 in the case of those with a disability assessed at 33% or greater
    • not having worked  within the last 30 calendar days prior to the date of the filling of the application
    • not having participated in educational actions of more than 40 hours a month within the last 90 calendar days prior to the date of the filling of the application (or 40 hours a month within the last 30 calendar days if applicants are no longer in the education system or if they can benefit from second-chance programmes)
    • not having participated in training actions of more than 40 hours a month within the last 30 calendar days prior to the date of the filling of the application
    • a commitment to active participation in the actions developed within the framework of Youth Guarantee.
  • once they have been included in the file, they become part of a single demand list. The organisation of this list, as well as the assistance process, takes into account criteria such as age, previous work experience, the period of unemployment or the level of qualification, targeting as a priority young people who have so far not received attention by the System and those who are about to reach the maximum age
  • includes a series of recruitment incentives for contracts with beneficiaries of the National Youth Guarantee System:
  1. monthly bonuses in the employer’s contribution to Social Security for companies or self-employed workers who offer permanent or part-time contracts to beneficiaries
  2. reduction in the employer’s contribution to Social Security for companies and self-employed workers who offer part-time contracts including training to beneficiaries
  3. raising of the limits for bonuses in the employer’s Social Security contributions used to finance the cost of training in training and learning contracts with beneficiaries.
  • creates the new Youth Guarantee portal, a meeting place for young people, the administrations, companies and all the entities participating in the System. The portal provides all the information about the Strategy for Entrepreneurship and Youth Employment and the National Youth Guarantee System
  • creates the Youth Guarantee management information system, a management and coordination system shared by all the players involved: State General Administration, Autonomous Communities and intermediate bodies of the European Social Fund.

Spain’s priorities regarding European funds

The 2014-2020 Common Strategic Framework in the context of the Europe 2020 Strategy has a fundamental principle for its programming: organise investment co-financed with funds in a smaller number of priorities, depending on the development level of the different regions and the European Structural and Investment Funds.

In the area of education and training, the following should be emphasised:

European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

Thematic objective

Strategic line of action

Strengthening research, technological development and innovation.

A financial instrument devoted to innovation.

Enhancing access to and use and quality of information and communication technologies.

Extension of the broadband network, especially into rural areas.

Enhancing the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (primarily under the competence of the Autonomous Communities).

  • promotion of entrepreneurship and the creation of new enterprises
  • support to growth and innovation processes.

Source: Drawn up by Eurydice Spain-Spanish Network for Information on Education (National Centre for Educational Innovation and Research, Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport) on the basis of Spain’s 2013 National Programme of Reforms.

European Social Fund (ESF) within national operational programmes

Thematic objective 

Strategic line of action 

Supporting employment and labour market mobility.

  • sustainable integration of young people not in employment, education or training into the labour market
  • self-employment, entrepreneurship and business creation.

Investing in education, skills and lifelong learning.

  • reducing early school leaving and promoting equal access to good quality early childhood, primary and secondary education
  • enhancing access to lifelong learning, upgrading the skills and competences of the workforce and increasing the labour market relevance of education and training systems.

Source: Drawn up by Eurydice Spain-Spanish Network for Information on Education (National Centre for Educational Innovation and Research, Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport) on the basis of Spain’s 2013 National Programme of Reforms.

Within national operational programmes, there is the Youth Employment Operational Programme, with a budget of EUR 2 360 617 818. Its fifth major axis is the ‘sustainable integration into the labour market of young people who are not employed or who do not participate in education or training activities, particularly in the context of Youth Guarantee’.

For more information, see Reforms in school education.

Act on the Improvement of the Quality of Education, modifying the Education Act

Although the Act on the Improvement of the Quality of Education, which modifies the 2006 Education Act, was published in the Spanish Official Gazette of 10/12/2013, its implementation began this academic year 2014/15 in primary education.

E-literacy, media literacy and innovative learning environments

Information and communication technologies (ICT) are one of the areas playing a major role in the transformation of the education system. The Act states that there is a need to review the concept of classroom and learning environment from a broad perspective of the educational function of the new technologies. The gradual introduction of ICT in the education system will:

  • make personalised education and its adaptation to each student’s needs and pace possible
  • reinforce and support instances of poor performance
  • help extend the knowledge acquired in the classroom without limitations
  • be a key tool in teacher training and lifelong learning, allowing citizens to combine training with their personal and work obligations, as well as in the management of processes.

Regarding interoperability between the different information systems used in the education system, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, after consultation with the Autonomous Communities, will look at the standards ensuring interoperability between the systems within the framework of the National Interoperability Scheme. To that end, the basic types of information systems used by the education authorities, for academic and administrative management as well as to support learning, will be identified, and their basic technical specifications and the different levels of compatibility and security regarding data processing will be defined. Within these specifications, the definitions of the protocols and formats for the exchange of data between the information systems of the education authorities will be considered particularly relevant. 

As for the virtual learning environments that are used in publicly-funded educational institutions, they will have to facilitate the implementation of specific educational plans designed by teachers in order to achieve certain objectives of the curriculum. For that reason, and in accordance with interoperability standards, they should provide students with access from any location and at any time, in line with the regulations on intellectual property. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport will establish, after consultation with the Autonomous Communities, the formats that will have to be supported by the tools and systems to support learning in the field of public digital educational contents in order to ensure their use, regardless of the technological platform being used.

In addition, The Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport will offer the educational community digital and technological access platforms, which could include educational resources provided by the education authorities and other agents for their shared use. Resources will have to be selected in accordance with methodological quality parameters, the adoption of open standards and the availability of sources facilitating their dissemination, adaptation, reuse and redistribution, and will be recognised as such.

In June, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport announced financial support for teachers of pre-primary education, primary education, special education, compulsory secondary education, Bachillerato, vocational training and adult education to develop educational resources and incorporate them into these public platforms, with up to a maximum of EUR 4 million.

The objectives of the development of these educational resources are to promote the integration of skills into the curriculum, encourage personalised attention to all students and make further progress in the development of assessment tests based on learning standards and outcomes.

Finally, the education authorities and the management teams of educational institutions will promote the use of 'ICT in the classroom' as an appropriate and valuable educational resource to undertake the teaching and learning tasks. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, after consultation with the Autonomous Communities, will create a common digital competence reference framework guiding in-service teacher training and facilitating the development of a digital culture in the classroom.

Entrepreneurship education in primary education provision

The new Act includes numerous references to entrepreneurship.

The basic curriculum for primary education, which is being implemented this academic year 2014/15, was approved in March. This stage aims to develop individual and teamwork, effort and responsibility, as well as attitudes of self-confidence, critical sense, personal initiative, curiosity, interest and creativity in learning, and entrepreneurial spirit.

Entrepreneurship will be included in all the areas of the stage, without prejudice to a specific treatment in some of them.

For more information, see Primary education.