Adult training provision is large and diverse, since it includes from literacy processes and the achievement of basic education to training aimed at professional training and qualification linked to active employment policies and on-the-job training or leisure activities. It comprises different types of provision and programmes, which are offered by the education, employment and local authorities.
Provision to raise achievement in basic skills
Provision aimed at improving the achievements of the adult population in basic skills as well as their linguistic competence in foreign languages is mainly offered by the educational authorities, although there are also training activities with the same objectives in the field of popular education, such as popular univerities.
Basic education for adults
Basic education for adults is aimed at young people and adults who left the education system without any qualification, and focuses on the acquisition of basic education skills and knowledge.
All the autonomous communities differentiate between initial education and secondary education for adults.
Initial education is aimed at people who do not master basic instrumental techniques.
These studies are open to the following people:
- people turning 18 in the year in which the course begins;
- exceptionally, people over 16 years of age, who request it and have an employment contract that does not allow them to attend ordinary schools or who are high-performance athletes; people over 16 years of age who, exceptionally, have been authorised by the education authorities, either because of circumstances that prevent them from attending ordinary schools and which are duly accredited and regulated, or because they have not been enrolled in the Spanish education system.
In most Autonomous Communities, initial education is structured into two levels:
- Level 1 or Literacy, which enables adults to acquire literacy and numeracy skills;
- Level 2 or Consolidation of Knowledge and Instrumental Techniques, which provides access to secondary education for adults and fosters their active participation in social, cultural, political and economic.
The contents taught are normally organised in fields (Scientific-Technological, Communication and Social) or knowledge areas (Language, Mathematics and Social and Natural Sciences), although in some Autonomous Communities the contents of Level 1 are organised comprehensively. They may also introduce adults to foreign languages. In addition to the time devoted to curricular contents, all education authorities include a number of hours for guidance and tutorials for aspects related to training and employment integration.
It normally consists of provision requiring attendance, although some Autonomous Communities offer distance learning. As a general rule, each level corresponds to an academic year, its duration is characterised by flexibility and may vary according to the needs and learning pace of the students.
It is personalised, integrative and takes into account the characteristics. Its continuous and educational character is reflected in the adoption of reinforcement or educational support measures and, where appropriate, curricular adaptation, if the progress of the student is not adequate.
Students who successfully complete initial education receive a certificate. If the levels are not passed, the Autonomous Communities establish the possibility of obtaining a certificate in which the work done is specified.
Secondary education for adults
Secondary education for adults is intended to help them obtain the Lower Compulsory Secondary Education Certificate. It also seeks to facilitate the acquisition of the basic skills that are necessary to foster their personal development and promote their social integration, continuation of their studies and their integration into the labour market or promotion.
These studies are open to the following people:
- people turning 18 in the year in which the course begins;
- exceptionally, people over 16 years old, who request it and have an employment contract that does not allow them to attend ordinary schools or who are high-performance athletes. In addition, they have to meet any of the following requirements:
- having completed the 6th year of primary education or its equivalent;
- having passed Level 2 or Consolidation of Knowledge and Instrumental Techniques of initial education, or having achieved the objectives of these levels in the initial assessment.
This provision is organised into three areas:
- Communication (basic aspects of the curriculum for compulsory secondary education relating to the subjects of Spanish Language and Literature, the first foreign language, and, if applicable, the relevant co-official language and its literature);
- Social (including aspects relating to Geography and History, Civic and Ethical Values, the aspects of perception included in the curriculum of Plastic, Visual and Audiovisual Education, and Music);
- Scientific-Technological (including Mathematics, Technology, Digitalisation, Physics and Chemistry, Biology and Geology and the aspects related to health and the natural environment included in the Physical Education curriculum);
The education authorities may introduce other aspects relating to the remaining subjects of compulsory secondary education. These areas are normally organised into two levels comprising a series of modules, although some Autonomous Communities organise levels into sections.
The organisation of these programmes should allow for a two-year academic period, guaranteeing, in any case, the achievement of the competences established in the Exit Profile. The modular system provides greater flexibility of access and choice of the learning pace, and offers the possibility of taking the modules. In order to help adults combine their personal, family and working life with study, provision can be classroom-based or distance and, in the case of some autonomous communities, partially distance.
It is the responsibility of the Education Administrations to establish the procedures for the recognition of training in the Spanish education system that students accredit and the assessment of prior knowledge and experience acquired through non-formal education, with the aim of proceeding to their orientation and assignment to a specific level within each of the knowledge areas.
It is considered as a continuous process. In most autonomous communities, it is differentiated according to modules or areas, although attention is paid to its global character as well as to its comprehensive approach to knowledge. It is important that it is personalised, integrative and that it takes into account the characteristics of the people at whom it is aimed.
The completion of any of the levels corresponding to each of the three areas in which these courses are organised is valid throughout the country.
Passing all the areas entitles the holder to the award of the Compulsory Secondary Education Graduate Certificate. Likewise, the teaching team may recommend the award of the diploma of Graduate in Compulsory Secondary Education to those pupils who, although they have not passed any of the areas, are considered to have achieved the general objectives of adult basic education as a whole. This decision must take into account the training and integration possibilities of each student in academic and work activities.
The education authorities organise examinations on a regular basis so that people over 18 can obtain this certificate directly, without having taken the relevant courses previously, provided that they have attained the basic competences and objectives required for the stage. These examinations are organised on the basis of the three mentioned knowledge areas and it is up to the Administrations themselves to determine which parts of these examinations are considered to have been passed by those who sit them, in accordance with their previous academic record. The examinations are based on the three knowledge areas into which this type of provision is organised. It is also the responsibility of the Education Administrations to ensure that the tests provide universal accessibility measures and the necessary adaptations for all pupils with special educational needs.
Vocational secondary education for adults
According to Organic Law 2/2006 on Education (LOE) as amended by Organic Law 3/2020 (LOMLOE), educational authorities may establish basic level training cycles for those who have reached the age of 18 in the year in which the course begins.
Vocational Training allows the acquisition of professional, social, personal and longlife learning skills.
Students aged over 17 who do not hold a vocational training certificate or any other certificate proving completion of full secondary education may enrol in this type of provision.
Basic vocational training cycles involve two years of full-time study. They are classroom-based and take place in adult education institutions.
Students who successfully complete a basic vocational training cycle are awarded the Basic Vocational Training Certificate. In addition, those aged over 22 who have accredited the relevant basic vocational training professional competences, through either Level 1 certificates of professional experience or the established evaluation and accreditation procedure, are also awarded the Basic Vocational Training Certificate by the education. The education authorities periodically organise examinations to obtain this certificate. In order to sit them, candidates must be at least 18. In addition, the education authorities have to ensure equal opportunities, non-discrimination and universal accessibility for people with disabilities who sit these examinations.
Language education is organised into three levels: basic, intermediate and advanced. These levels correspond, respectively, to levels A, B and C of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (MCER). Language teaching at intermediate and advanced levels mentioned in the previous article, are provided in official language schools.
People aged at least 16 and, exceptionally, those aged at least 14 can join these courses when it is a language other than the one studied in Compulsory Secondary Education.
This provision can be classroom-based or distance, through the programme That's English!.
Students who successfully complete the different levels of language education are awarded the relevant certificate. In addition, the education authorities, through official language schools, regularly organise tests for obtaining a language certificate without completing the corresponding course. These tests are organised in accordance with the objectives, skills and evaluation criteria established for each level in the curricula of the different languages.
Provision to achieve a recognised qualification during adulthood certification
The education authorities offer training for adults, thus allowing them to achieve an official qualification that proves the development and consolidation of basic skills, the consolidation of those skills of a more cross-cutting nature that encourage continuing learning and their labour integration into a specific field, or the acquisition of professional competences.
In addition, the education authorities organise examinations for adults to obtain these qualifications without having to complete the corresponding studies, as well as examinations for adults to have access to these types of provision.
Post-compulsory and higher education
There is also the possibility for adults to have access to Bachillerato and vocational training. The education authorities take the necessary steps to ensure the provision of post-compulsory education for adults and organise public distance education, which must include the use of information and communication technologies.
Bachillerato for adults has been regulated in all Autonomous Communities, either by means of specific legislation or legislation that applies to mainstream bachillerato.
These studies are open to the following people:
- people turning 18 in the year in which the course begins;
- people over 16 years old, who request it and have an employment contract that does not allow them to attend ordinary schools or who are high-performance athletes;
- people over the age of 16 who have been authorised by the education authorities, either because of circumstances that prevent them from attending ordinary schools and which are duly accredited and regulated, or because they have not been enrolled in the Spanish education system.
In addition, it is required to be in possession of the Compulsory Secondary Education Graduate certificate or any of the vocational training, plastic arts and design or sports education certificates or equivalent.
Within the face-to-face modality, two organisational models can be distinguished, although not all Autonomous Communities have both:
- Model A, in which the subjects for each branch are distributed and grouped in three blocks, each of which is taught within an academic year;
- Model B, whose organisation is the same as the one established for mainstream Bachillerato provision.
The Autonomous Communities set, within their area of management, the maximum number of teaching hours per week, the number of weekly hours devoted to each subject and the teaching timetable, which varies depending on the organisational. Students can take any number of subjects from the first and second year, according to their possibilities and time availability, and respecting the rules of precedence and incompatibility between.
In the case of classroom-based provision, schedules which facilitate greater student attendance can be offered.
The organisation of distance Bachillerato is the same as the one established for mainstream provision: two academic.
In these programmes, tutorial support is optional and can be classroom-based or distance.
Assessment is continuous and differentiated for each subject.
Distance provision takes into account the submission and appropriateness of tasks, participation in the proposed thematic forums, if applicable, as well as any other element included in the teaching. Additionally, both in classroom-based and distance provision, students are required to pass classroom examinations. As a general rule, three quarterly written examinations and two final examinations are established for each subject: an ordinary examination session at the end of the third quarter, normally in June, and a supplementary examination session, generally in September.
Bachillerato for adults has the same academic validity as mainstream bachillerato and therefore leads to the award of the Bachillerato certificate.
Students will obtain the diploma provided that they have obtained a positive evaluation in all the subjects of the two Bachillerato courses, or in all subjects except one. In the latter case, the following conditions must be met:
- That the teaching team considers that the student has achieved the objectives and skills associated with this qualification.
- That the student has not dropped out of the subject, in accordance with the criteria established by the schools within the framework of the provisions established by the education authorities.
- That the student has taken the tests and carried out the activities required for their assessment, including those of the extraordinary call.
- That the arithmetic average of the grades obtained in all the subjects of the stage is equal to or higher than five.
Likewise, students taking these courses who are in possession of any of the qualifications referred to in Article 23 of Royal Decree 243/2022 may obtain the Bachillerato diploma by means of the procedure set out in said Article.
Vocational training allows students to receive training and work or carry out other activities at the same time. This is why it is offered on a full-time, part-time or modular basis.
These studies are open to the following people:
- access to part-time provision of the training modules is governed by the academic and age requirements established generally;
- in order to have access to intermediate vocational training, students must hold the Lower Compulsory Secondary Education Certificate or its equivalent, have completed an Initial Vocational Qualification Programme, or hold a basic vocational training certificate;
- those who do not comply with these conditions may sit an entrance examination regulated by the education authorities;
- in order to have access to advanced vocational training cycles, students have to meet one of the following requirements:
- hold a Bachillerato certificate;
- hold a Technician certificate and have completed a specific training course at an authorised public or private institution;
- have passed the entrance examination for advanced vocational training cycles;
- have passed the university entrance examination for students over 25.
On the other hand, the specialisation courses are aimed at people who already hold a vocational training qualification. In order to enrol in them, students must be in possession of one of the Technician or Advanced Technician qualifications specified as an entry requirement in the Royal Decree setting up each of them.
In full-time provision, all the modules of a course have to be taken. In part-time provision, modules can be taken independently. In both cases, as well as in those vocational modules where it is possible, provision can be classroom-based, partially distance or distance.
The teaching methods include the scientific, technological and organisational aspects that are necessary to gain a global vision of the relevant professional activity. They are flexible and open, and based on self-learning. Distance provision facilitates students’ autonomy through the use of information and communication. Teachers have a personal relationship with students and are in permanent contact with them. Likewise, students have the support of a tutor who offers guidance and advice.
Assessment is undertaken through modules, taking into account the objectives and evaluation criteria of the vocational modules, as well as the general objectives of the training cycle. In distance provision, in the final assessment of the vocational modules, which is completed by continuous assessment processes, students are required to pass classroom examinations. The Autonomous Communities are responsible for defining the assessment criteria.
Vocational training for adults has the same academic validity as mainstream vocational training, so students who successfully complete this type of provision are awarded the Technician or Advanced Technician certificate in the relevant. The students who do not pass all the studies contained in the training cycle obtain an academic certificate specifying the competence units of the passed vocational modules, which includes accumulated partial accreditation of the professional competences acquired, in line with the National System for Qualifications and Vocational Training (SNCFP).
There are not specific programmes for adults. However, part-time provision, for which the number of credits varies across universities, enables them to take university education studies.
In addition, they can study for a university degree programme by distance learning. In the case of public universities, this is mainly offered by the National University of Distance Education (UNED), although the rest of universities may also offer distance Bachelor and Master’s degree programmes.
Entrance examinations, tests to obtain a certificate and examinations to achieve a qualification
The education authorities periodically organise different types of examinations for adults to have access to studies leading to the award of a qualification, obtaining a language certificate or achieving a post-compulsory official qualification. These examinations have been established for candidates who do not meet the academic requirements. A minimum age is required in order to sit them. The entrance examinations for studies leading to a qualification are as follows:
- entrance examinations for intermediate vocational training cycles: candidates must be or turn 17 in the year the examination is taken. These examinations accredit the competences of compulsory secondary education, and are considered sufficient knowledge and skills to have access to intermediate vocational training;
- entrance examinations for advanced vocational training cycles: candidates must be at least 19 in the year the examination is taken, or 18 if they hold a Technician certificate related to the training cycle they want to take. The examination proves that candidates have the necessary maturity in relation to the objectives of Bachillerato, as well as the skills regarding the professional field concerned. The education authorities may organise and offer courses for those holding the Technician certificate to prepare these examinations;
- entrance examinations for advanced artistic education: students over 19 may sit this examination, which proves that candidates have the necessary maturity in relation to the objectives of Bachillerato, as well as the knowledge, skills and abilities to successfully complete this type of provision;
- entrance examinations for university education: the regulations on the admission requirements for official Bachelor programmes have established three types of access, according to age criteria and work experience:
- an entrance examination for people over 25;
- access through the accreditation of professional or work experience for those over 40;
- an entrance examination for people over 45 who lack qualifications and professional and work experience
- Universities have to reserve a number of places, not lower than 2 %, for those students who have passed the university entrance examination for people over 25. In the case of students who have passed the entrance examination for people over 45 or those who accredit professional or work experience, universities must reserve, as a whole, a number of places not lower than 1 % or higher than 3 %. For detailed information on these three types of university entrance examinations and access for students over 25, 40 and 45, see section Bachelor.
Finally, examinations for adults to obtain an official qualification without having to complete the corresponding studies are also organised. These examinations correspond to compulsory secondary education, Bachillerato and basic, intermediate and advanced vocational training or languages taught in official language schools. They are the following:
- for detailed information on the examinations to obtain the Lower Compulsory Secondary Education Certificate and a basic vocational training certificate, see section Provision to raise achievement in basic skills;
- examinations to obtain the Bachillerato certificate: adults may obtain the Bachillerato certificate by sitting these examinations provided they have achieved the general objectives established for this type of provision. The examinations are organised differently according to the Bachillerato branches. In order to sit them, students must be 20 years of age. In addition, the Education Authorities have to ensure equal opportunities, non-discrimination and universal accessibility for people with disabilities who sit these;
- examinations to obtain intermediate and advanced vocational training certificates: in order to sit these examinations, students must be 18 for the Technician certificate, 20 for the Advanced Technician certificate, or 19 if the hold the Technician certificate. Students in either classroom-based or distance part-time provision who have taken vocational modules associated with competence units, may sit these examinations in order to retake the vocational modules that they have not passed. In addition, the Education Authorities have to ensure equal opportunities, non-discrimination and universal accessibility for people with disabilities who sit.
- examinations to obtain a language certificate. The education authorities, through Official Language Schools, regularly organise these tests for students that have not completed the corresponding course. These tests are organised in accordance with the objectives, skills and evaluation criteria established for each level in the curricula of the different languages.
Programmes for education and vocational training linked to active employment policies and on-the-job training
The Employment Administrations organise a wide range of training programmes aimed at contributing to the personal and professional development of workers (employed and unemployed), improving their employability and promotion at work.
Article 12.4, of Law 3/2023 on Employment establishes that the Spanish Active Employment Support Strategy should be articulated around various pillars. The second of these concerns training. It includes vocational training actions for employment in the workplace, aimed at apprenticeship, training, retraining or reskilling and training in alternation with work activity, including public employment and training programmes, which enable the beneficiaries to acquire skills or improve their professional experience, in order to improve their qualifications and facilitate their integration into the labour market.
The Training for Employment System aims at the following objectives:
- encouraging unemployed and employed workers’ lifelong learning in order to improve their professional competences and their employment and training pathways, as well as their professional and personal development;
- contributing to the improvement of the productivity and competitiveness of companies;
- meeting the requirements of the labour market and the needs of companies, providing workers with the appropriate competences, knowledge and practices;
- improving the employability of workers, especially of those having greater difficulties for remaining in the labour market or inclusion;
- promoting the accreditation of workers’ professional competences acquired through training or work experience;
- bringing and extending the benefits of information and communication technologies to workers, promoting the reduction of the existing digital divide and ensuring accessibility.
The principles governing it can be found in article 3 of Law 30/2015, which regulates the Vocational Training System for employment in the workplace.
There are four types of vocational training initiatives for employment aimed at providing an immediate response to the different needs of individuals and the production system:
- training planned by companies for their employees;
- training provision for employed workers offered by the relevant administrations, consisting of sectoral training programmes and cross-cutting training programmes, as well as professional qualification and recognition programmes;
- training provision for unemployed workers offered by the relevant administrations, including training programmes aimed at meeting the needs identified by the public employment services, specific training programmes and training programmes with recruitment;
- other vocational training initiatives for employment, concerning individual training leaves, work-linked training and training of public employees.
General characteristics of vocational training for employment
Vocational training for employment is aimed at employed and unemployed workers. Priority is given to people having greater difficulties for inclusion and remaining in the labour market, such as the long-term unemployed, women, people over 45, low-skilled workers, migrants and people with disabilities, among others.
Training actions are understood to be those aimed at the acquisition and improvement of the professional competences and qualifications of the working staff, and may be structured in several training modules with their own objectives, contents and duration. They must be related to training specialities from the Catalogue provided for in article 20.3 of Law 30/2015. The duration, content and delivery requirements must be those established therein. In the training initiative programmed by the companies for their employees, it is not compulsory for the training actions to be referenced to the aforementioned Catalogue of Training Specialities. In this case, the duration, contents and requirements for the delivery of the training actions are determined by the companies themselves. However, activities intended to inform or disseminate information, the purpose of which is not the development of a training process, and, in any case, those lasting less than two hours, are not considered as training actions.
Training can be delivered in three possible ways:
- via e-learning;
- mix methods, through the combination of the two previous approaches.
When all or part of the training is carried out via e-learning, this mode of delivery must be conducted through a virtual learning platform that enables interaction between students, tutors and resources located in different places and ensures content management, a systematised learning process for those who participate, and continuous monitoring in real time, as well as evaluation of the entire process. The delivery must use the appropriate methodology for this modality, complemented with tutorial assistance, and must comply with the requirements of accessibility and universal design or be designed for all individuals as established by order of the Minister of Labour and Social Economy.
In the training provided by means of e-learning there must be at least one tutor for every 80 participants. This person must have verifiable training or experience in this modality. The training provided through the face-to-face mode must be carried out with quality criteria that enable training by competences and a learning process in accordance with this, as well as its monitoring and assessment. For these purposes, competences are understood as the acquisition of skills, knowledge and abilities. This face-to-face training is organised in groups of a maximum of 30 participants. In blended training actions, the limits apply according to the respective delivery modality. The employment authorities may establish, within their area of management, a smaller number of participants.
Training can be provided through the following entities:
- 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 or agreements with authorised public bodies or companies;
- public or private training bodies, authorised and/or registered in the relevant registry.
The Vocational Training for Employment System 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 bodies in charge of the management, programming and control are responsible for carrying out a continuous evaluation within their own territory, including the following aspects:
- 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 acquired knowledge 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;
- Assessment is systematic and continuous in order to establish the learning outcomes and the acquisition of professional competences;
- it is carried out by trainers, who take the skills and evaluation criteria set for each training activity as a reference;
- trainers draw up an evaluation report which includes the results obtained by each participant and indicate whether they have acquired the expected skills and, therefore, the professional competence of the competence standards they are linked to.
Within the General State Administration (AGE), there is a Special Inspection Unit for vocational training for employment. Its scope of action is national. The functions entrusted to this Special Unit are carried out without prejudice to the surveillance and control functions entrusted in this area to the Territorial Directorates for Employment and Social Security Inspection and the Provincial Inspectorates for Employment and Social Security.
Each participant who completes the training with a positive evaluation receives an accreditation diploma, which at least states the name of the training action, the training contents, the delivery modality, the duration and the period of delivery of said training action. Likewise, those who complete the training action without a positive evaluation will receive a certificate of attendance.
The certificate of attendance or, where appropriate, the diploma must be delivered or sent, or made available to the participants on the e-learning platforms, by the entity responsible for providing the training , within a maximum period of two months from the date of completion of the training action in which they have participated.
The professional competences acquired through this training may be assessed and accredited in accordance with the procedure for the recognition of professional competences acquired through work experience or other non-formal or informal means.
Training offer of vocational training for employment
There are four types of vocational training initiatives for employment aimed at providing an immediate response to the different needs of individuals and the production system:
Training planned by companies for their employees
It consists of training plans or programmes aimed at the following groups:
- employed staff working in companies or public bodies not included in the scope of application of training agreements in Public Administrations;
- permanent seasonal workers during periods of non-employment;
- workers who, during their participation in any training action, become unemployed;
- workers affected by temporary contract suspension measures for economic, technical, organisational or production reasons, during their periods of suspension of employment.
The training actions programmed by companies must respond to the real, immediate and specific training needs of the companies and their employees. These actions are carried out with the necessary flexibility in terms of content and timing in order to meet the training needs of the company itself in an agile manner and to adjust the employees' skills to changing requirements.
Companies can organise this training themselves, as well as provide it using their own resources or by outsourcing it. In the case of a group of companies, any of the companies in the group can organise such training under the conditions set out above. In both cases, the company must communicate the beginning and completion of the training actions programmed under this initiative to the Administration, and must ensure the satisfactory development of the training actions and of the monitoring, control and evaluation functions, as well as the adequacy of the training carried out to the real training needs for the business.
Should a company choose to entrust the organisation of training to an external entity, the training must be provided by a training entity accredited or registered in the register of training entities authorised by the competent public administration. Neither the organisation nor the delivery activity may be outsourced.
Training offer for employed workers
The aim of the training provision for employed workers is to offer training that addresses the companies’ requirements for productivity and competitiveness, meets the needs of adaptation to changes in the productive system, and provides them with career development opportunities and possibilities of personal development, so that they become qualified to exercise the different professions and improve their employability.
This training offer addresses the needs not covered by the training programmed by the companies and is developed in a complementary way to this through training programmes that include training actions responding to both sectoral and transversal needs. Specifically, this training offer guarantees, alongside the sectoral training programmes, training in transversal skills in accordance with the needs identified in the multi-annual scenario and the corresponding annual report.
In addition to employed workers, unemployed people can also participate in this training offer, depending on the limit established based on the situation of the labour market at any given time.
The training offer for employed workers is carried out through the following programmes:
a) Sectoral training programmes: of general interest for a given sector and aimed at meeting its specific training needs. They may also be aimed at the retraining and reskilling of workers from sectors in crisis.
b) Cross-cutting training programmes: aimed at obtaining cross-cutting skills in various sectors in the economic activity that should receive priority attention in order to respond to the trends identified, in addition to favouring employability and intersectoral mobility of workers, on the basis of the corresponding annual report and multi-annual scenario.
c) Professional qualification and accreditation programmes: the competent Public Administrations encourage employed and unemployed workers to advance and complete their professional qualification by means of procedures that assess and accredit professional competences acquired through work experience and that combine the accreditation of such competences.
Training offer for unemployed workers
It aims to offer them training adjusted to their individual training needs and those of the productive system, enabling them to acquire the skills required in the labour market and to improve their employability. To this end, it takes into account the profile of each worker drawn up by the public employment services in accordance with the provisions of the Common Portfolio of Services of the National Employment System.
The design, programming and dissemination of this training offer corresponds to the competent public administrations, with a mandatory and non-binding report from the trade unions and employers' organisations in accordance with the participation bodies established in each area of competence.
This training offer is delivered through programmes of the competent Administrations aimed at covering the training needs identified in the customised insertion itineraries and in the job offers, specific programmes for the training of individuals with special training needs or with difficulties for professional insertion or requalification, and training programmes that include hiring commitments. Likewise, the training actions included in this offer may be oriented towards the promotion of self-employment and social economy, as well as considering the completion of non-labour professional internships in companies.
In general, this training offer gives priority to unemployed people with a low level of qualification, in addition to those others actions programmed by the competent Administrations in accordance with the qualification needs of the unemployed population, the skills required by the labour market and the occupations and sectors with the highest level of employment opportunities.
The training offer for unemployed workers is carried out through the following programmes:
a) training programmes of the public employment services aimed at covering the training needs identified in the customised insertion itineraries and in the job offers and in the corresponding annual report;
b) specific training programmes aimed at unemployed people with special training needs or difficulties for their professional insertion or retraining;
c) training programmes that include recruitment commitments.
Other vocational training initiatives for employment. The training offer corresponding to other vocational training initiatives for employment includes the following initiatives:
Individual training leaves
An individual training leave is that which the company authorises a worker in order for him or her to take a training course that is recognised by an official qualification or accreditation or by a university degree, with the aim of favouring his or her professional and personal development, as long as it does not constitute mandatory training for the employer. The training action must be conducted exclusively in face-to-face sessions or, if this is not the case, it must include compulsory face-to-face classes, work placements or tutoring sessions. This leave may also be authorised for access to the processes of assessment and accreditation of work experience and other non-formal and informal learning.
Work-linked training is training aimed at the acquisition of professional competences through a mixed process of employment and training, which makes it possible to combine formal learning with professional practice in the workplace. These training actions include training and learning contracts, and workshop-schools, trade training centres and employment workshops.
Training actions for public officials of the public administrations
These actions are managed by the National Institute for Public Administration (INAP) and address issues such as managerial skills, public management skills, information and communication technologies and foreign and co-official languages, among others.
Vocational information and guidance
Vocational information and guidance is carried out from a dual perspective: from the Vocational Training System (competence of the Ministry of Education, Vocational Training and Sport, MEFD) and from the national employment system (competence of the Ministry of Labour and Social Economy, MTES).
The vocational guidance of the Vocational Training System is provided to individuals, companies, organisations and institutions in a differentiated manner and, additionally, within the framework of any vocational training offers or accreditation of competences linked to this system, and is carried out with a comprehensive approach of support and assistance in learning, lifelong learning and the adjustment between existing competences and required competences, individually or collectively. It includes information, counselling and accompaniment. Moreover, it is, at all times, focused on the establishment of suitable training itineraries for the effective acquisition of the professional competences desired by the target group.
The Administrations must guarantee, within the scope of their respective powers, comprehensive support for training and professional careers by means of appropriate and effective vocational guidance, which provides users with information and guidelines for the consideration of all types of training and professional options in the choice or redefinition of training, qualification and professional practice itineraries, eradicating professional stereotypes and gender biases in vocational training options.
In turn, the Administrations must promote coordination and cooperation to guarantee the quality and complementarity of the vocational guidance service provided both by the Vocational Training System and the national employment system. The latter also incorporates other vocational guidance actions not linked to training itineraries.
The functions and aims of vocational guidance in the Vocational Training System are set out in article 95 of Organic Law 3/2022 on the organisation and integration of Vocational Training.
Meanwhile, Law 3/2023 on Employment establishes in article12.4 the main areas of the activation policies for employment. Area 1 is guidance. It includes information, vocational guidance, motivation, counselling, diagnosis and determination of the professional profile and skills, design and management of the individual learning itinerary, job search, labour intermediation and, in short, actions to support the insertion of the beneficiaries. In this sense, the customised, comprehensive and inclusive employment guidance service is included among the services listed in the Common Portfolio of the National Employment System.
Common Employment Services Portfolio of the National Employment System
As part of the 2020 Strategy of European Public Employment Services, the Common Employment Services Portfolio of the National Employment System in Spain aims to ensure equal access across the State to public employment services and the services they provide, as well as equal access to employment.
Users of these services include:
- unemployed or employed people who, depending on their needs, can be job seekers and services applicants, or just services applicants, who are also entitled to receive these services through a personalised attention adapted to their expectations and needs;
- companies, which, depending on their needs, can be employers or services applicants.
Training-related services portfolio, regulated in Royal Decree 7/2015, in force until the revision of the regulatory framework, in accordance with the provisions of Law 3/2023 on Employment:
- 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.
- 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..
- individual diagnosis and development of the profile;
- design of the personalised employment path;
- personalised support in the development of the path and regarding compliance with the obligations of their commitment;
- advice and technical support for:
- 1st definition of their CV;
- 2nd implementation of techniques for an active job-seeking..
- additional information and advice;
- support in the management of labour mobility.
- Placement and counselling service for companies
- identification and management of job offers, including those from the rest of the European Economic Area and other countries;
- location and development of new employment opportunities, linking them to those who best match the job requirements according to their profile and skills. This service includes the dissemination of job offers within the framework of the National Employment System and the Single Employment Portal (Portal Único de Empleo).
- management of job offers through the matching of offers and applications;
- information and advice on recruitment and support measures for activation, recruitment and insertion in the company;
- communication of employment contracts as well as registrations, periods of activity and company certificates;
- support for outplacement processes in the cases provided for by law.
- Training and employment skills:
- It promotes training, professional qualification, requalification and the constant updating of professional.
- It improves users’ professional competences through creditable training provision and non-formal training, as well as the recognition of competences acquired through work experience.
- vocational training for employment that meets users’ needs;
- control, monitoring and evaluation of the quality of Public Employment Services training and quality assurance systems;
- evaluation, recognition and accreditation of professional competences acquired through work experience;
- 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;
- registration, accreditation and selection of vocational training for employment institutions and organisations;
- 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.
- 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;
- dissemination, promotion and support to the establishment of cooperatives, worker-owned companies and other social economy organisations;
- 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.