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History of Vocational Education and Training in Europe

Cases, Concepts and Challenges

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Edited By Esther Berner and Philipp Gonon

Understanding today’s Vocational Education and Training (VET) systems requires a comprehension of the rise and development, i.e. of the foundations of topical VET. This book provides a comparative view of its development in Europe. The contributions of renowned authors give insight into conceptual questions, cases and challenges in this field.

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Evolution and Challenges of the Spanish VET System: From a School-Based to a Work-Based Approach

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Abstract: The article discusses the educational policies that move the Spanish VET model from a school-based to a work-based approach, taking into account the history and cultural tradition that has shaped it throughout history. Firstly, it presents a historical analysis of the evolution of the vocational and educational system in Spain since its first years of formation. Secondly, it analyses the efficiency of the VET system in terms of enrolment, graduation and employment rates of graduates. Finally, it discusses the challenges that need to be tackled to bolster the vocational education structures: attract more students, engage social agents and improve quality outcomes.

1.  Introduction

Among the many landscapes educational policies have run through in Spain, the decision to strengthen the provision of vocational education gains new significance in a context of high unemployment, school dropout and qualification mismatch. In an economy with a great predominance of the services sector, highly unstable and short-term in nature, initial vocational education policies attempt to combine general and specific competencies which might enable individuals to adapt to labour market requirements. In this context, skills and knowledge formation becomes a process that takes place through the coproduction of multiple places where school and workplace assume a central role in the process (Plana-Coll 2005).

Traditionally, the VET system in Spain has followed a school-based model (Greinert 1994), centralized and regulated by the State. Professional qualifications have been delivered by state-funded and managed schools. However, currently economic and social...

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