Dual vocational education and training project between Lower Saxony and Spain is launched
Honé and Willamowius welcome prospects for 13 Andalusian trainees
For the first time, Spanish trainees can gain a dual vocational qualification based on the German model which is recognised in both Spain and Germany. A pilot project for this, run by the Ministry of Education in Andalusia, and also the Ministry for Culture and the Ministry for Federal and European Affairs and Regional Development in Lower Saxony, was launched in Alcalá de Guadaíra near Seville at the start of October. 13 budding freight forwarding and logistics clerks are completing the three-year training in companies based in the region and are attending the Cristóbal de Monroy vocational school. The project's official launch was marked at an opening ceremony by General Secretary Olaja Abadía Garcia de Vicuña from the Ministry of Education in Andalusia, Michael Buckup, Special Representative for Lower Saxony for the project "Gute Nachbarn in Europa" [Good Neighbours in Europe], and Torsten Temmeyer of the Hannover Chamber of Industry and Commerce.
"This is a win-win project in Europe for two regions. Expertise from Lower Saxony opens up career prospects and social opportunities for young people in Andalusia and helps alleviate issues relating to the shortage of skilled workers," explains Birgit Honé, Lower Saxony Minister for Federal and European Affairs and Regional Development. She also points out that not until spring of this year, when a number of Spaniards were completing placements in the Hannover region, did it become clear that the highly motivated young people from Andalusia were also of interest to employers in Lower Saxony.
"Dual vocational education and training is the driver behind the future opportunities for young people and is a successful practice-based example of European cooperation," adds Gaby Willamowius, State Secretary at the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, explaining that this has created an important basis for the ongoing cooperation between both countries. For the trainees from Andalusia and Lower Saxony, she believes that the project is opening up important and long-term prospects for both their professional careers and their personal development.
"Companies are playing a key role for the first time and training contracts are being concluded," explains Abadía Garcia de Vicuña. "The project is helping to improve and support dual vocational education and training which responds to the needs of business. It is enabling young people from Andalusia to make a successful start in their careers and gives them a professional qualification recognised in both countries". There has been huge interest in the dual project across Europe, she explains.
Buckup commented that all parties involved have been so pleased with the successful launch that further cohorts and vocational schools may follow over the coming year. He thanked the project partners from Lower Saxony and Andalusia, adding that preparation had been a particular challenge due to the coronavirus pandemic. Temmeyer spoke in terms of a huge opportunity. He said that a number of companies had already indicated they wanted to create further training positions for 2022.
However, that's not all. The aim with the project is also to promote exchange between teachers and vocational school students via the EU Erasmus programme.
The "Good neighbours in Europe" project developed from the concept of European solidarity with Spain in 2015. Spain is currently suffering from high levels of youth unemployment of over 30 percent, with Andalusia being particularly badly affected. The established dual concept in Germany of paid and predominantly company-based training with teaching in vocational schools is, as yet, not integrated within the Spanish vocational education and training system. The pilot project also aims to use cross-border training to establish joint training standards. The project is being supported by Spanish and European funding.
Source: mk.niedersachsen.de (Ministry of Cultural Affairs of Lower Saxony), revised by iMOVE, May 2022