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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
National reforms related to transversal skills and employability


14.Ongoing reforms and policy developments

14.5National reforms related to transversal skills and employability

Last update: 13 February 2024


Reskilling and upskilling of the working population

In June 2023, the Agreement of the Sectoral Conference on the System of Qualifications and Vocational Training for Employment was issued. This Agreement approves the proposal for territorial distribution and the criteria for the distribution of 111 million euros intended for the development of reskilling and upskilling of the working population, linked to professional qualifications in strategic sectors, care of people and areas at risk of depopulation, within the framework of component 20 "Strategic plan to promote training professional", of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, in the 2023 budget year.

This measure will impact the training of more than 200 000 employed or unemployed people. Training actions will give priority to training in emerging and rapidly evolving skills and with future job creation prospective. Likewise, these actions will attend to training in those sectors that, as a consequence of the foreseeable evolution of economic and social conditions, will generate jobs in the future. These funds are preferably directed, without exclusivity, to the following eleven strategic sectors:

1. New advanced information technology.

2. Automated machine-tools and robotics.

3. Aeronautical equipment.

4. Modern rail transportation equipment.

5. Energy-based vehicles and new equipment.

6. Agricultural machinery.

7. New materials.

8. Biopharmaceuticals and advanced medical products.

9. Consumption chain: manufacturers and distributors.

10. Hospitality and tourism.

11. Care services.



New Spanish Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning

In May 2022, Royal Decree 272/2022 was published. The Royal Decree establishes the Spanish Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning (MECU) and the description of the levels not included (with the exception of level 5A) in the Spanish Qualifications Framework for Higher Education (MECES), regulated in Royal Decree 1027/2011.

The purpose of this framework is to complete and integrate the general framework of Spanish qualifications, aimed at directing the classification, comparability and transparency of officially accredited qualifications.

Included in this framework are official degrees and certifications of the Spanish education system, as well as the certificates of professionalism in the field of Vocational Training for Employment standardised in current regulations.

The Spanish Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning is an internationally recognized mechanism that, through self-certification, guides the balanced levelling of qualifications for their classification, connection and comparability. I also serves to facilitate the mobility of people in the European space and in the international labour market.

Certification, accreditation and recognition of teaching digital competence

In July 2022, the Education Sector Conference Agreement on the certification, accreditation and recognition of teaching digital competence was published.

The Agreement establishes the procedures for the accreditation of the digital competence of teachers. It represents a great step forward in this area for all the Educational Administrations, to subsequently develop their own regulations in the terms included in this Agreement.

Said accreditation will be carried out at the following levels: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2, being equivalent and recognized by all educational administrations. For this, the Digital Teaching Competence Reference Framework will be taken as a reference.

Financial support for worker training

The Ministry of Education, Vocational Training and Sports (MEFD) announces financial support worth 24.5 million euro aimed at the qualification and requalification of the active population. The call, linked to Component 20 of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, aims to promote the training of workers and the accreditation of their skills to thus improve their employability.

Companies, business associations and non-profit entities may apply for these grants for the implementation of training projects that allow workers to update their professional skills or acquire new skills, especially those linked to emerging sectors, such as New advanced technology of the information, automated mechanical manufacturing and robotics, aeronautical equipment or Biopharmacy and advanced medical products, among others.

The training actions will have a duration of a minimum of 30 hours and a maximum of 60, and must identify in their contents the unit or units of Competence of the Professional Qualifications included in the National Catalog of Professional Qualifications (CNCP), opens in window new to which they are associated.

The recipients of this training will be, on the one hand, the workers of the companies and business groups themselves and, on the other, people seeking employment or in a situation of special vulnerability.

This call, which ends on April 22, is part of the strategic action launched by the Ministry to improve the professional skills of workers and their recognition. The goal is to accredit the training of more than three million people by 2024.

Connecting the National Reference Centers with the business fabric

The future Organic Law on the Organization and Integration of Vocational Training, currently in parliamentary process, will promote the connection of the National Reference Centers with the productive fabric of their surrondings. These centers contribute to guaranteeing a quality training system, in accordance with the qualification needs demanded today. The network of National Reference Centers adds up to a total of 38 throughout Spain with the recent incorporation of the Andalusian Center for Comprehensive Training of Leisure Industries in Mijas (Málaga). With the inclusion of the aforementioned center, the Ministry of Education, Vocational Training and Sports (MEFD) responds to the need to have a reference center in the Vocational Training system specialized in the hospitality sector, which carries out innovation, experimentation and training actions . It will serve to detect new professional qualifications, promote collaboration networks with companies, or participate in the procedures for the evaluation and accreditation of professional skills, among others.


Strategic Plan for subsidies by the Ministry of Education, Vocational Training and Sports (MEFD) 2021/2023

Last May 2021, the Minister of Education, Vocational Training and Sports (MEFD) approved the Strategic Plan for Subsidies 2021-2023, with the aim of helping the planning, execution and monitoring of the subsidies managed by the Ministry. This plan seeks to carry out a more effective, efficient, and transparent operation. This plan consists of 8 strategic objectives, of which the Strategic Objective 7 (Promote professional development and the training provision in Vocational Training for Employment) has an impact on employability. Subsidies will go, among other things, to direct aid for unemployed training, and direct aid for the employees training.

Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan

The Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan involves a significant volume of public and private investment in the coming years. This investment drive necessary to relaunch the Spanish economy and accelerate the transformation of the production model towards sustainable and inclusive growth will be financed with funds from the NextGenerationEU Plan, the European Recovery Fund. Specifically, this Fund will allow Spain to obtain financing for 140 000 million euros.

Among the 10 key policies for structural reform for sustainable growth, policy number 7 is focused on education and knowledge, continuous training and skill development. This key policy will materialize in several strategic plans, among which the National Plan for digital skills stands out. The aim of this plan is to improve the digital skills of the population as a whole, from the digitization of school to university, through requalification (upskilling and reskilling) at work, with special attention to the gender gap and the promotion of training in areas in demographic decline.

For more information, see Plan de Recuperación, Transformación y Resiliencia

Vocational Training Plan for economic and social growth, and employability

The First Strategic Plan for Vocational Training, which began in the fourth quarter of 2018, has had to be strengthened and adapted to the new economic growth model to respond to the qualification and requalification needs of future and current workers, at the individual and collective level of companies.

Given the new situation, a second phase of the Strategic Plan for Vocational Training has been proposed, incorporating a Plan for vocational training, economic and social growth, and employability.

The Spanish government has taken over the Plan for Vocational Training, designed both for the educational system and for Vocational Training for the unemployed and employed, derived from the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals, to develop a modern country project within the framework of a new global social contract.

Likewise, the Plan incorporates the Communications approaches of the European Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, such as a new skills agenda for Europe: Working together to strengthen human capital , employability and competitiveness, and the Recommendations of the European Parliament and of the Council of the European Union on Vocational Training and key competences for lifelong learning.

The mission of the Vocational Training Plan for economic and social reconstruction and employability is to create an ecosystem of economic relaunch from the commitment to human capital and talent, and to guarantee training and professional qualification to the entire population, from students of Vocational Training studies to the working population, based on three principles:

  1. Recognition and accreditation of professional skills.
  2. Flexible accessibility of Vocational Training and professional guidance.
  3. Incorporation of digitisation, innovation and entrepreneurship in the Vocational Training system.

In order to meet the objective of the Vocational Training Plan, the Ministry of Education, Vocational Training and Sports (MEFD) has defined the following actions of a strategic nature, and to which resources are assigned:

  • Evaluation and accreditation of basic and professional skills.
  • Training in digitization applied to productive sectors for VET teachers.
  • Creation of Entrepreneurship Classrooms in Professional Training.
  • Resizing the offer of Vocational Training.
  • Conversion of classrooms into applied technology spaces.

In the current expenditure budget of the Ministry of Education, Vocational Training and Sports (MEFD), the amount of 262 151 626.48 euro is allocated for the execution of the Action Plan for Vocational Training and Employability.

For more information, see BOE.

Accreditation of professional skills

The Council of Ministers has approved a Royal Decree that establishes the opening of a permanent procedure for the evaluation and accreditation of professional competences acquired through work experience, or through non-formal training channels, and which affects all productive sectors.

This is one of the actions included in the Plan for the Modernization of Vocational Training with the greatest impact on the workforce, since it puts an end to the limitations of the existing method.

With an initial budget of almost 852.5 million euro, the Ministry of Education, Vocational Training and Sports (MEFD) will certify the skills of more than three million people in four years.

Cumulative accreditation system

This permanent procedure will have as a reference the totality of the professional competence units included in the Professional Training offer linked to the National Catalogue of Professional Qualifications.

The accreditation system will be cumulative so that the beneficiary can complete the training that leads to obtaining the corresponding Professional Training title or certificate of professionalism.

The education centres that offer Vocational Training of the educational system, the integrated VET centres, and the National Reference Centres will be authorized to carry out these activities. In addition, the competent administration may determine other venues that hand over their facilities and services.

This transformation is in line with the European Union's employment strategies aimed at qualifying the workforce in order to facilitate employability, mobility, social cohesion, equity and lifelong learning.

For more information, see BOE.