One study found that the Dual FP course (a vocational training course) improves academic performance and the probability of obtaining a qualification

The report analysed administrative data from vocational training courses between 2015 and 2019 and included 263.487 students from 457 training centres/schools

Taking a Dual FP course improves academic performance and the likelihood of obtaining a qualification at the end of it. This is one of the conclusions drawn from a report on the status of vocational training studies in Catalonia  based on administrative data covering the academic years from 2015 to 2019. The study was led by Dr Toni Mora, director of the Institute for Research into Evaluation and Public Policy at the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya (IRAPP - UIC Barcelona), with participation from  Dr Oriol Escardiac, from the University of Barcelona (UB-IEB) and Dr Pilar Pineda, from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). This project received support from RecerCaixa, a programme set up by Obra Social at "la Caixa” with cooperation from ACUP. Specifically, data was analysed for: 263,487 students and 457 training centres/schools, as well as 3.441 teachers from state schools. It is the first analysis of this type undertaken in Catalonia.

The study also reveals that the Dual FP still holds little weight in overall vocational training studies, since it groups 4.46% together only of the total number of students enrolled, of whom almost 60% are male. In terms of fields of study (grouped into “families”) almost 40% of students enrolled for Extractive Industries took a Dual FP course. In addition, there is also a relatively significant percentage of students who take the dual modality in Installation and Maintenance (15%), Mechanical Manufacturing (11%) and Chemistry (10.5%). In contrast, Sporting Activities, Health and Hospitality and Tourism, are the study “families” with the least number of students taking a Dual FP course. In terms of gender, there are no differences in enrolment numbers for most studies, except extractive industries, agricultural and textile industries, clothing and skincare.

Students who are above average in age

The report noted that 63.6% of the students are studying vocational training in state schools, while 23.5% are studying in semi-private schools and 12.9% are studying in fully private schools. In addition, there is also a significant number of students who are older than is typical for this stage of studying (an average age of 20.6 years in the middle cycle and 23.8 years in the upper cycle), with a higher percentage of women in the older group. Overall, only 12% of the students are foreign. The Nursing Assistant study cycle had the largest percentage of enrolled students (6.65%), followed by microcomputer systems and networks (6.10%) and Administrative Management (5.31%).

More women taking healthcare studies, more men taking computer studies

In terms of gender, the study reveals that there is a higher percentage of women in healthcare and social and cultural service studies, while men predominate in computer and communications studies, as well as vehicle transport and maintenance. For example, 88% of all students enrolled for oral hygiene courses are women, while in Pre-Primary Education and Comprehensive Aesthetics and Welfare the percentage is 91% and 98.4%, respectively. In the same way, some cycles have an extremely low percentage of women. As an example, there are virtually no women enrolled for fridge installation, heat production, industrial mechatronics or vehicle electromechanics courses.

In terms of academic performance, the final marks achieved by women are higher than those of men, both in the middle and higher cycles. The average final mark for men is 6.6, while that of women is 7.0, and 7.0 versus 7.4 in the highest cycles, respectively. There are also more men than women who repeat a year, at 17.7% and 16.6%, respectively. Overall, 89.9% of students study in a classroom, while blended learning occurs in 0.6% of cases and 9.5% of studies are not taught face-to-face.

Most necessary professions in 2030

The report also includes the results of a survey of representative companies from two large sectors on expectations for strong future demand (the health and technology sectors) to find out what their predictions are for labour requirements in 2030. The companies found that the competences that are most valued, beyond technical skills, are teamwork and communication. In addition, the survey revealed the job that companies consider will be most necessary in 2030. Specifically, computer programmers, science technicians and IT technicians are the occupations considered to be most necessary for 67%, 65% and 59% of companies, respectively.


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