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EACEA National Policies Platform


3. Employment & Entrepreneurship

3.3 Skills forecasting

Last update: 7 January 2021
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  1. Forecasting system(s)
  2. Skills development

Forecasting system(s)

The Article 2 of the Employment Law (RDL 3/2015) establishes, among the main purposes of employment policy, the reassessment and adaptation of workers’ professional skills to the requirements of the labour market, as well as the preventive approach and the anticipation of change which is of crucial importance for employment policies.

The development of skills has been subject to studies in the Employment and Labour Issues Sectorial Conference. The Spanish Strategy for Employment Activation 2017-2020 (Estrategia Española para la Activación del Empleo 2017-2020), foreseen in the articles 9 and 10 of the Employment Law is the result of the works of the conference, as well as the Annual Plan of Employment Policy 2018 (PAPE), foreseen in the articles 9 and 11 of the abovementioned law.

The Vocational Training System for Employment (Sistema de Formación Profesional para el Empleo) is regulated by Law 30/2015 of 9 September on Vocational Training System for Employment (Ley 30/2015) within the labour scope. The system is governed by the principle of anticipation to the requirements and changes of the productive model.

The State Foundation for Employment Training (FUNDAE), is another key actor in the updating and forecasting of professional skills. It is one of the bodies comprising the organisational structure and institutional participation of the Vocational Training System for Employment (Sistema de Formación Profesional para el Empleo). Thus, the Occupation Observatory of the Public State Employment Service (Observatorio de las Ocupaciones del Servicio Público de Empleo Estatal), as a technical unit of the Public State Employment Service, analyses the situation and trends in the labour market, groups of interest within the market and their transformations.

In the first semester of 2019, the Spanish Government presented the National Reform Plan 2019 (Programa Nacional de Reformas 2019), where the main measures focused on job promotion. Also, the document contemplates the renewal of the mentioned strategy, Strategy for Employment Activation 2017-2020.


Skills development

Spanish legislation understands the ensemble of knowledge and capacities which allow for the exercise of the professional activity according to the production and employment demands as professional skills. Adaptation of the education system to the requirements of the production system is carried out according to the dispositions of Organic Law 5/2002 of 19 June on qualifications and vocational training.

Once the occupations with better perspectives have been analysed, Axis 2 of the Spanish Strategy for Employment Activation 2017-2020 (Estrategia Española de Activación para el Empleo 2017-2020) establishes training as one of the structural objectives, in order to facilitate employability and skills improvement.

In order to comply with this, and having the Law 5/2002 on Qualifications and Vocational Training as the regulatory base, the National System for Qualifications and Vocational Education and Training is established. The National Catalogue for Professional Qualifications is made out from the National System for Qualifications and Vocational Education and Training which is the main instrument of the System to adapt vocational training to the productive system demands, which allows for a development of skills.

As skills can be obtained by vocational training as well as professional experience, or by other means of non-formal training, the National Catalogue for Professional Qualifications integrates the different systems of vocational training and allows people to have their skills recognised whether or not they are in possession of an official title.

The body in charge of the elaboration of the Catalogue is the National Institute of Qualifications (INCUAL), keeping the Catalogue of Qualifications updated, as well as the Modular Catalogue of VET. The INCUAL has its own Professional Observatory, which offers information on the professions offered by the labour market.

In Spain today, regulated Vocational Training and Employment Training coexist, both as part of the Vocational Training System for Employment. Regulated vocational training is made out of a series of training cycles through which the titles of Technician or Higher Technician are obtained. They constitute the initial Vocational Training, and this is done in the educational administration centres. The titles referred to as Vocational Training are detailed by the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training.

On its own behalf, Training for Employment has the purpose of favouring training throughout workers’ lives regardless of occupational situation or unemployment. It is achieved through occupational vocational training courses and ongoing vocational training, in order to obtain the Professional Skills Certificates (Certificados de Profesionalidad). The State Public Service of Employment (SEPE) publishes the National Repertoire of Professional Skills Certificates (Repertorio Nacional de Certificados de Profesionalidad).

The National Reference Centres (Centros de Referencia Nacional, CRN), which is an ensemble of innovation and experimentation centres related to Vocational Training working as a single institution, specialise in the different production sectors implemented in every CCAA.

Non-formal training in Spain is regulated by means of the Collective Agreement on Education and Non-Formal Training (Resolución de 12 de abril de 2011, de la Dirección General de Trabajo, por la que se registra y publica el VII Convenio colectivo de enseñanza y formación no reglada), and is enforced according to the following:

The procedure allows for the achievement of an official certificate from which, later, a Professional Certificate or a Vocational Training Title may be obtained; to this end, the INCUAL is the competence body; however, it is the task of the Autonomous Regions to organise the calls and their management.