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Goirigolzarri: “Vocational training provides an answer to youth unemployment and the need to help people without qualifications access the labour market”

04 October 2017

Category: Corporate

José Ignacio Goirigolzarri, chairman of Bankia, during his speech at the 3rd Dual Education Alliance Forum.

  • “We must invest in training as a creator of opportunities for all and a source of cohesion”
  • The 3rd Dual Education Alliance Forum, organised by Bankia and Fundación Bertelsmann, brings together more than 300 participants from companies, schools and institutions interested in the dual model of education
  • The opening address was given by Bankia chairman José Ignacio Goirigolzarri and the president of the Valencian government, Ximo Puig

"Education is the best way to fight against unemployment and so plays a pivotal role in our economy and, above all, our society," said the chairman of Bankia, José Ignacio Goirigolzarri. And within education, he added, "vocational training has historically been neglected, although it is in fact an excellent means of technical training for our young people".

At the opening of the 3rd Dual Education Alliance Forum, organized jointly by Bankia and Fundación Bertelsmann, Goirigolzarri said that dual education "helps provide a way forward for young people and many others who currently lack qualifications but who need to gain access to the labour market. We must not forget, either, that 50% of our unemployed have no secondary education and, of those, half are very long-term unemployed".

Goirigolzarri opened the forum together with the president of the Valencian government, Ximo Puig; the deputy minister for education, Marcial Marín; the vice chairman of Fundación Bertelsmann, Francisco Belil; the general secretary of the Spanish employers confederation (CEOE), Ana Plaza; and the chairman of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce, José Luis Bonet.

Goirigolzarri added that "the evolution of the employment system calls for a form of vocational training in which schools and companies work closely together and integrate learning methodologies and competencies". For that purpose, Bankia wants to be "a driver and mediator, helping to build that essential relationship - and that is the goal we are working towards".

Goirigolzarri highlighted the development of dual vocational training in Spain over the last four years, in which the number of students enrolled has increased sixfold and the number of collaborating companies, twentyfold.

As a result, the dual education system currently has 24,000 students enrolled and 10,000 collaborating businesses. Even so, Goirigolzarri described these figures as "low, if we compare them with the experiences of other countries". Accordingly, he said he was hopeful that the rate of growth "will increase in the future, as this is what Spanish society and the citizens of Spain need".

Dualiza, Bankia's dual education action

Goirigolzarri reminded forum participants that "education was already a basic priority" five years ago, when Bankia decided on which fields it should focus the support of its social action area. Since then, numerous projects have been carried out to put that strategic intent into effect.

One result of that strategic intent is Dualiza, an action plan that encompasses Bankia's initiatives to create awareness, foster and improve dual education through collaboration with government and industry bodies.

Two years ago, as part of this action plan, Bankia started its own dual education initiative, providing 50 places for apprentices studying new forms of banking within its organisation. Already a total of 44 young people have graduated from the Dual-Bankia programme and a second class is in training. Bankia is the first financial institution to take on the responsibility of becoming a training company through a dual education project.

Similarly, the SANEC project, a pioneering initiative in Spain, has given 21 dual education students the chance to work with biomedical research groups in four leading research centres (IIS La Fe, CIPF, FISABIO and INCLIVA).

These two experiences are being presented at the forum as examples of good practice in dual education, thanks to successful collaboration between schools and companies, with the companies becoming involved in the apprentices' education, so as to enhance their employability.

3rd Dual Education Alliance Forum

The Dual Education Alliance (Alianza para la FP Dual) is a countrywide network of businesses, schools and institutions that are committed to the development of dual vocational training in Spain, driven by Fundación Bertelsmann, together with Fundación Princesa de Girona, the CEOE and the Spanish Chamber of Commerce.

The 3rd Dual Education Alliance Forum, held at the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències conference complex in Valencia, brings together more than 300 participants from companies, schools and institutions with an interest in the dual model of education.

Among other matters, forum participants will address issues such as competitive specialisation and dual vocational training; dual education success stories in SMEs; the development of the dual system in the Valencian Community; apprenticeships in an international perspective; the main barriers to implementation in Spain; quality indicators in dual education; and dual education as an employment promotion strategy. It will also provide a platform for students who have experience of the dual education model.

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