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Social commitment

Juan Carlos Lauder: “Today’s vocational training is the future of our society”

Interview with the director of Fundación Bankia por la Formación Dual.

Communication Bankia

By  Communication Bankia

Publish on 
02 August 2019 - 10:45

What is Dual Training and why has Bankia decided to support it?

Dual Training is a method of learning based on two environments in which the education received by students at their education centre is complemented with additional training at a work centre.

This is one of its fundamental aspects, in which companies are involved in part of this training, adding an additional dimension compared to traditional internships.

There are numerous advantages. Students can see how their studies are actually applied and can immediately understand whether these studies meet their expectations and aspirations. The company can see how the students evolve by collaborating with them over an appropriate period of time and, by participating in their training, can instil its own values and procedures in them, enabling their potential incorporation and facilitating the work carried out by Human Resources. Moreover, the education centre has a direct relationship with the company that allows it to stay up-to-date with the latest procedures being used in the labour market.

This three-way relationship directly benefits all of the parties, but also translates into advantages for society. The most obvious advantage is employability. Having access to trained and practiced personnel that are capable of carrying out certain tasks, companies end up hiring the majority of Dual Training students, which also improves the competitiveness of the businesses that use this system.

Why has Bankia decided to support it?

Bankia has been committed to supporting education for years. Indeed throughout this period, the bank has realised that there is a specific need in Spanish society to promote vocational training, which is why it has decided to act in two ways.

The first is the creation of the Fundación Bankia por la Formación Dual programme, which has already trained three years of Dual Training students and has led to the incorporation of nearly 50 students into our branches as customer relationship managers. Moreover, many of them have continued their professional careers at Bankia and are now financial advisers. The second action has been the creation of the Bankia Foundation for Dual Training, which I manage, and is the only foundation that is fully dedicated to fostering and promoting dual-environment training.

Bankia's commitment to the promotion of education comes from years ago, when it proved that Spanish society had a specific need: the promotion of vocational training.

Juan Carlos Lauder
Director of Fundación Bankia por la Formación Dual.

What are the Foundation’s principal lines of action and what are you going to promote under your management?

We are going to continue working with the lines we have in place. We will continue to support complementary training programs that are adapted to companies’ needs and improve the employability of young people. We will carry on the strategic collaboration with the FPEmpresa association, with which we promote the Dualiza Grants Programme that is working really well and enables us to raise awareness about the extremely important work carried out in centres. And we also want to continue the Dualiza Challenge, which is hugely successful and allows vocational training students to be placed as innovation agents in companies.

This year we also want to build on the work promoting vocational training, which we believe is fundamental and is a key factor in eliminating the divide that separates Vocational Training students from Dual Training. Only 4% of those that take vocational training studies choose dual training, and this should not be the case.

And how are you going to do this?

The best way is to continue to support the talent that education centres bring together. Over these three years of work, our activities have benefited more than 10,000 students. For some, this benefit has been about taking another step in their training, while for others it has been a real life changing experience.

This is the most satisfying part. Seeing the social impact of the activities that we promote and understanding that today’s vocational training is the future of our society.

In these three years of activity, our activities have benefited more than 10,000 students.

Juan Carlos Lauder
Director of Fundación Bankia por la Formación Dual.

What can be done to prevent Dual Training from still going unrecognised?

More and more things are being done and there are increasing numbers of us who are trying to raise awareness of it in society. There is obviously still a lot to do, demonstrated by the fact that some regions are unable to fill all of the dual training places offered.

For our part, we want to continue working in two areas – firstly promoting vocational training and dual training, talking about success stories, employability statistics, the benefits of learning… relating a situation that will undoubtedly help to ensure that increasing numbers of companies and education centres get involved.

And secondly, we want to continue producing publications and promoting academic studies about the model itself. We can’t ask people to make decisions for which there is no underlying analytical basis.

So we created the Knowledge and Innovation Centre to carry out and promote this research. In recent years studies have been produced about the vocational training system in the regions of Valencia, Navarre, La Rioja and Castilla y León; research work coordinated with the Instituto de Empresa Familiar (Institute of Family Businesses) on career guidance; and even a diagnosis of the research about vocational training in Spain, which primarily concluded that very few reports have even been produced to understand the strengths and failings of the vocational training system.

This lack of information also affects the lack of appropriate guidance, which many people see as the biggest reason for the imbalance between training and employment

It is true that we need to improve career guidance. We want to begin working in this area. We know that there is an imbalance between companies’ needs for qualified personnel, the training available and students that are finishing their studies, and this inconsistency is due to the lack of guidance.

In Spain, current guidance is extremely academic and needs to incorporate an occupational component. When students and families want to study, they do so with an academic approach in mind, often without knowing about the employment situation. By taking this narrow approach, the choice is skewed towards university education when vocational training can provide much easier access to the job market.

So far you have talked about the advantages, but what are the downsides to dual training?

We have talked about the first one – we need to raise the profile of the model among more companies.

But we also have a major problem which is simply a lack of common rules for the 17 autonomous regions. Since its implementation in 2012, each region has built a model that best suits its own circumstances. This initiative has led to the creation of 17 different models, one for each region, and has prevented medium-size businesses from adopting dual training in various parts of the country by not having common rules to work with. The need to have to adapt a corporate training plan to 17 different situations means that many of them abstain from doing it at all.

Furthermore, we still need more ways of helping small and medium-size businesses to start using dual training. Many of them cite the German model, but this is adapted to the situation in Germany where large companies have enormous power and are directly involved in training and are aware of the lack of labour.

In Spain, the industrial sector is largely made up of SMEs. We need to provide them with the resources to take on apprentices without making their day-to-day business harder. A flexible models concept.

The good news is that we know how to do this and there are plenty of areas that are doing things in a really excellent way. The Basque Country is one example where they are promoting and innovating vocational training in collaboration with companies. Various education centres are at the cutting-edge of innovative projects and, if you don’t mind me saying so, companies like Bankia are stepping up to take on the role of key social transformation agents, transforming the future.

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