Spain: Training system revised without social partner agreement

Changes have been made to the Spanish system of vocational training without the agreement of the social partners.

A new law setting out changes to the Spanish system of vocational training (in Spanish) was passed on 23 March 2015. However, it was done without the agreement of the social partners.

Changes to the Spanish Continuous Training System began in February 2012. The Ministry of Employment and the social partners collaborated intensively on the reforms between mid-2014 and March 2015.

There were more than 50 public and private meetings between government representatives and social partners during the discussion process, but there were many disagreements, especially as the government wanted to reduce the social partners’ role in providing training.

The government said its reforms to the system were aimed at promoting greater efficiency and transparency in the management of public resources. It was therefore creating a new inspection unit to stop any irregularity or fraud in the management of public funds.

There are five main characteristics of the new vocational training system (in Spanish).

  • The reform is a response to the general pre-agreement signed by social partners and government on 29 July 2014, about proposals and key issues to be discussed at tripartite level.
  • Employers’ organisations and trade unions will no longer be principal training providers, and will not directly manage training programmes.
  • Employers’ organisations and trade unions will take part in the design and planning of training programmes. Social partners and other bodies, such as regional governments, will also help design a multi-annual strategic plan.
  • The former Tripartite Foundation for Training in Employment will become the State Foundation of Training in Employment, and it will have a greater proportion of public administration representative members
  • The new system encourages access to training for self-employed people and the participation of micro-enterprises.
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