Over the next three years, companies will need 90,000 professionals with expertise in data and Artificial Intelligence in order to be more efficient and able to compete internationally. In addition, new technologies and, therefore, the skills that employees need to have will evolve at such a rapid pace that they will have to continuously update and recycle their knowledge.
This situation is one of the great challenges that companies and society in general are already facing. And in this context, Vocational Training is one of the most relevant training modalities to train all the necessary talent, both in the Spanish industrial sector and in the rest of the economic activities. In order to respond to these training needs and meet companies’ demand for talent, IndesIA, the association to promote the use of Artificial Intelligence in the Spanish industrial sector, made up of nine of the country’s leading companies (Repsol, Gestamp, Navantia, Técnicas Reunidas, Telefónica, Microsoft, Airbus, Ferrovial and Inditex) and FPEmpresa, an organisation that brings together more than 450 Spanish vocational training centres, have committed to working together. The aim of this collaboration agreement is to promote the introduction of technologies related to data and artificial intelligence within the educational curricula of vocational training to promote training and employment related to science and technology. As a result of this collaboration, FPEmpresa will begin to carry out an analysis of the current state of VET in everything related to the data economy and Artificial Intelligence by reviewing various reports prepared by IndesIA, which analyse different professional profiles demanded by companies and the training offer currently available and that which will be needed in the future. In addition, both entities will collaborate in the development of the “Digitalisation” module, which will be compulsory in all Vocational Training degrees, as defined in the Vocational Training Modernisation Plan promoted by the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training. This will also mean that both institutions will participate in the training of the teaching professionals who will have to teach this module. On the other hand, their contribution to the creation and revision of vocational training itineraries to train professionals in the field of the data economy and Artificial Intelligence is also foreseen, as well as the promotion of these itineraries in educational centres throughout the national territory. According to Valero Marín, president of IndesIA, “it is necessary to focus on training and education if we want to improve the shortage of expert profiles in technologies and achieve the transformation of the country in the long term. The data indicate that there are 200,000 jobs related to science, mathematics, engineering and technology that will not be filled in the next two years”. In this sense, he warns “Vocational Training is a great opportunity to train all this talent in a faster and more practical way, but it must focus on the application of new technologies, which is why we consider this agreement with FPEmpresa to be essential, because thanks to their work we will be able to disseminate the importance of digitalisation in all the centres that make up this entity”. For his part, Luis García, President of FPEMPRESA, explains “it is necessary for vocational training centres to be prepared to be able to provide quality, up-to-date teaching. Not only new technologies, but also the way of learning is different as the digitalisation of classrooms evolves. It is therefore interesting that the centres adapt their teaching methods to the new teaching tools, such as: virtual/augmented reality, digital environments such as digital twins, classrooms equipped with Industry 4.0 technology, etc.”. On the other hand, he comments “it is essential that a VET student is trained in an environment similar to the one they will later find in the real company and in this sense, IndesIA is for us the opportunity to obtain the knowledge that the large companies that make up the association have in terms of the application of data and Artificial Intelligence in the daily work of an organisation”.