Vocational Education and Training (VET) and Innovation: Impact of the VET Centres in the SMEs in Catalonia (Spain)

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 15:19
Location: Hörsaal 18 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Ignasi BRUNET, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain
Liviu Catalin MARA, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain
Two important aspects of the economic model for the Spanish case are: the low level of intermediate skills compared with the average of the OECD countries, and the predominance of SMEs in the industrial sector. Education and innovation are part of the answer to be given to current challenges. However, SMEs have limited resources to innovate. The vocational education and training system can contribute to this innovation through greater cooperation between both actors. To this end, we have studied a Spanish region- Catalonia with a high rate of industrial enterprises and experimental cases of cooperation between VET institutions and SMEs. Our approach, linked to the prospect of Regional Innovation System, allows the study of the relationships between these actors and how these relations shape the local environment and how the local environment and the relationships that occur in it are key to understanding the level of interaction between the training system and the business network of SMEs. For this purpose, we have combined case studies with structured interviews and exploitation of a survey to SMEs. The results point to the existence of significant obstacles to such cooperation. However, other factors that allow for greater collaboration between the training system and the business network of SMEs could be observed.