Red Eléctrica de España, the Educational Department of the Regional Government of Castilla y León and the Regional Energy Agency (EREN) have launched the first national Dual FP (Vocational Training) programme specialised in the management of power stations. Red Eléctrica has invested more than 400,000 euros in the design and launch of this training programme. In addition, Red Eléctrica has awarded each student with a traineeship grant of 6,800 euros to complete the 8-month theoretical-practical training period led by the Company.
The 10 students of the first class began the second phase of their degree programme at the Campus of the Red Eléctrica Group in Tres Cantos, to complete the three-year training cycle and begin a theoretical-practical training period that will conclude this November with the completion of technical field training as well as on-the-job training in the operational centres of the various regional offices of the transmission grid. The 25 students of the second class will continue with theoretical classes in León until the end of June.
This training, given by a total of 80 professors, offers three types of professional accreditations: Management of the operation in thermoelectric power stations; Management of the operation in hydroelectric power stations and Assembly, operation and maintenance of electricity substations - and is supplemented by theoretical and practical classes.
The Dual FP programme consists of a total of 2,820 teaching hours, of which 1,620 are taught at the Integrated Technological Industrial Training Centre of León and 1,200 hours at Red Eléctrica de España (42.5% of the total). Of the latter, 800 hours correspond to theoretical and practical training in the Company's Campus (corporate university) and 400 hours are for practical technical field training conducted in the operational centres of the various regional offices of the transmission grid.
With this programme, in collaboration with the Regional Government of Castilla y León, "Red Eléctrica consolidates its commitment to transfer its know-how and provide society with the best and most competitive professionals so that their access to the labour market be a reality accompanied with the maximum guarantees," stated Ángel Mahou, Corporate Director of Transformation and Resources of the Red Eléctrica Group.
Dual FP Vocational Training is a fundamental academic tool to increase the employability of young people, facilitate the processes for their incorporation into companies, provide the labour market with the best professionals and also offer women the opportunity to take up jobs traditionally occupied by men.
According to Agustín Sigüenza, General Director of Vocational Training and Special Regime of the Regional Government of Castilla y León, "this project is an opportunity to continue to bring education closer to the real needs of companies. For this, we need the cooperation of both the public administration and the private sector, as well as a shared vision to jointly design academic programmes".
New degrees to promote international mobility
Prior to the commencement of this programme, the academic prospectus of the national Vocational Training programme did not include a degree that could provide the job market with qualified professionals for the positions of technical expert in power station operation and technical expert in power station maintenance. While this is an important step, it must be said that there is still a long way to go and many goals to be achieved.
Multi-skilled professionals are currently required in the areas of substations, protections and control and power lines, and, therefore, it is necessary to develop new higher-level professional certifications that enhance (and supplement) the initial scope of this Dual FP programme. Among others, management and supervision of the assembly and maintenance of high-voltage overhead power lines (from 66kV to 400kV), management and supervision of the assembly and maintenance of high-voltage underground electricity networks (from 66kV to 400kV) and the management of indoor transformer centres.
Professionals who complete the programme and receive their certification, will have been provided with the necessary training and skills to carry out their activities in international high-voltage grids of more than 66KV and would be a suitable group for international mobility.
Dual Vocational training - a tool to fight against youth unemployment
In a scenario in which the rate of unemployment of people under 25 has reached 32.6%, according to data from the EPA (the Spanish Labour Force Survey) for the month of January of this year, the conclusions of the 4th Forum of the Dual Vocational Training Alliance, held last October, show that this combination of academic-practical training provides a labour insertion rate of 74%, which is why it is presented as a key alternative to help solve youth unemployment.
Aware of this, Red Eléctrica takes on the training programmes for young graduates as an important commitment to society. The Company participates with three annual training grant programmes - two organised by SEPI (the Spanish State Industrial Holding Company) and another by the Fundación Universidad Empresa - in which a total of 60 grants are awarded to students each year. Now, with the FP Dual degree, the Company wanted to go a step further and collaborate with educational entities, in this case in the region of Castilla y León, to promote this training option in order to permanently create value and meet the new challenges of society.
"Red Eléctrica is a company committed to training that guarantees quality jobs and helps the professionals of tomorrow ensure the sustainability, efficiency and competitiveness of the country," added Mr. Mahou. In this way, the Company materialises its commitment to transfer its know-how and to provide our productive apparatus with competitive professionals, thus facilitating the process of incorporation of young people into the working world.