The electricity sector in Spain now has 10 new professionals with a very high technical qualification. All of them make up the first class (2017-2019) that recently completed the Dual FP for Advanced Technical Expert in Power Stations Degree, an initiative led by Red Eléctrica, with the cooperation of the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training and the Regional Government of Castilla y León.
For Baltasar Pozo, life made him reinvent himself: "When the hotel where I worked closed down, I decided to study and turn my life around." So, he hung up his hotel uniform and decided to try his hand at high voltage, and today he is one of the 10 graduates of the first class (Class of 2019) of the Advanced Technical Expert in Power Stations Degree. This Dual Vocational Training course, promoted by the Red Eléctrica Group in collaboration with the Regional Government of Castilla y León and the Regional Energy Agency (EREN), provides training for future experts in power station operation and maintenance.
Baltasar does not regret his decision, on the contrary: "It has been a very constructive experience and I have learned a lot about a field that was a complete unknown for me,” – electricity is now an intrinsic part of his life.
His story is also - in part - Sergio's, Victor's or Pedro's story. All students of the first class of the Dual FP vocational training programme and whom today are fully trained and full of enthusiasm to enter a market that is as exciting as it is challenging.
But why did a company like Red Eléctrica decide to support this type of training? “FP (Vocational Training) is a pending issue in Spain. For that reason, for us it was an opportunity to have better prepared professionals, who can face the challenges that the energy transition brings us and can do so in a sustainable way,” said Eva Pagán, General Manager of Transmission Division at Red Eléctrica.
“Undoubtedly, it is a milestone for the team that, above all, will represent a new way of how things should be done moving forward,” stated Manuel López Cormenzana, Director of Maintenance.
The initial experience
Everyone, students and teachers, agree on the success that has been achieved by this first class. “Now that we see them graduate, the feeling of pride is immense. For us, the greatest reward is to have been able to create a degree curriculum that meets the highest technical standards and, above all, to have been able to teach and share all that knowledge and experience to the students,” said José Alberto Gutiérrez, one of the tutors of this first class (Class of 2019). Some learn to teach, and others realise that “the more you learn, the more you want to know,” noted Baltasar.
“The implication, the desire to learn, the comradeship, the way in which students have faced this learning challenge has been spectacular,” said José Luis Mata, Manager of Talent Management Department at Red Eléctrica. For him, Baltasar and Jose Alberto are just one of the examples of success of this first Dual FP experience of the Group, an adventure that, for Eva Pagán "has only just begun." Two more classes (Class of 2020 and Class of 2021) are already underway, one that will begin in February the 2nd phase of their degree at the Red Eléctrica Campus and another that is now starting the first phase of the degree at the institute of León.
What does the Dual FP (Vocational Training): Advanced Technical Expert in Power Stations Degree entail?
The Dual FP (Vocational Training): Advanced Technical Expert in Power Stations Degree is a newly created degree that is designed and taught in collaboration with the Regional Government of Castilla y León, through the Integrated Technological Industrial Training Centre of León.
The 2-year degree is structured in three parts:
- Training, mainly theoretical, for 9 months at the Integrated Technological Industrial Training Centre of León.
- Theoretical-practical training at the Red Eléctrica Campus (Tres Cantos, Madrid) for 5 months.
- Traineeships in the Red Eléctrica work centres for 3 months.
During the 8-month period that the student receives training from Red Eléctrica, the Company offers a traineeship grant of 6,800 euros per student. In total, the course consists of 2,820 teaching hours that combine theoretical training acquired with field training as well as on-the-job training and the implementation of the knowledge shared by 80 experts involved in the entire training process.