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The main objective of the international strategy of the Padre Piquer Professional Schools is to enhance the European dimension of Vocational Training, ultimately improving the quality of our training offer and the professional qualification of students, increasing their employability. To this end, the students will carry out in a foreign company the professional module of Training in Work Centers, obligatory in order to obtain the degree in the Training Cycles.
In line with what was explained in the previous paragraph, our partners will be companies based in foreign countries in which the students can carry out their professional practices. We need, therefore, companies that develop their activities in the areas where the studies of our students are found. Our strategies for selecting such companies are based on three main routes:
- Contacts established through our national partners. Through the tutors of the Spanish companies in which the students of the center practice, we come into contact with the division in other countries of these companies. These contacts are very fruitful since they are established thanks to personnel of the own company that already knows the characteristics of our students.
- Contacts established through the offers received from OAPEE via email.
- Searches carried out on their own initiative, either through communications that we establish by email, participation in fairs and meetings, contacts established through embassies or consulates of Spain abroad and contacts achieved through individuals, students or others.
The Padre Piquer Professional Schools sign a Collaboration Agreement with those companies that want to admit our trainees. In addition, the company subscribes to a Training Program, which details the abilities of the students, the tasks they can carry out and the criteria for the evaluation by the company of their professional activity during the internship period.
As regards the geographical area, one of the objectives of our project is to enhance the knowledge of the English language, so we focus on companies established in Ireland and the United Kingdom. We are also open to collaboration with companies located in other locations, where the language in the work environment is English.
We can not forget that the foreign language most studied in Spain is English, so for most of our students, this is the language in which they can work in a work environment. However, in the case of students who possess sufficient proficiency in another language, the possibility of establishing contacts with companies to carry out the practices in the requested language is studied.
As we said at the beginning, our main objective is to improve the professional qualification of our students to increase their employability. In the field of Spanish vocational training, the acquisition of basic knowledge, technical knowledge and social skills, are the three basic pillars on which the acquisition of professional skills, which enable people to enter the world of work.
A significant aspect in the promotion of social skills is the acquisition of language skills, the ability to communicate in a community language, which translates into an increase in the employability of individuals, as both occupational and geographic mobility .
On the other hand, participation in international experiences allows us to know other cultural realities, favoring personal development and enhancing the capacity for adaptation to multicultural environments increasingly necessary in our society. In addition the student will have the opportunity to develop other personal skills such as autonomy, helping him in his maturation process as a person.
As far as technical knowledge is concerned, the possibility of carrying out the Training in Work Centers module in companies or institutions located in other countries presents itself as a magnificent opportunity to complete the professional skills of the students of Vocational Training. With this we aim to enable students to meet the demands of continuous technological changes, fostering the idea of learning throughout life.
In addition, these students will bring new knowledge acquired in companies towards the development and updating of Spanish companies, especially small and medium enterprises. In this context, another important aspect to be considered, refers to teacher training in terms of acquiring or reinforcing linguistic and technological competences, with the feedback that students can give regarding technological innovations of different companies.
Institutional strategy for the implementation of international cooperation projects.
The strategy of the Padre Piquer Training Center, as coordinator of the Erasmus consortium and the beneficiary institution, is basically to have a structure capable of supporting such cooperation projects, whether national or international.
To this end, there is a dedicated department called Europa Office, composed of four professors from the different professional families, with a total of hours of weekly dedication that varies between 10 and 15 hours depending on the year. All the professionals involved in the management of these projects have an English language level that ensures their follow up, in addition to being able to use other European Union languages such as French, so addressing these international projects becomes easier.
This working group meets periodically one hour a week to share the follow-up of these projects or the other competencies of the department.
In addition, it has the timely support of the members of the language department and of the Administration staff, in the moments in which the tasks so require.
It has its own office equipped with sufficient computer equipment and Internet connection to be able to carry out such actions.
The Padre Piquer Training Center also has an internal quality system where different quality indicators are measured based on the number and results of these projects.
The courses that benefit from the Erasmus Program in Padre Piquer are within the Professional Training of the Spanish educational system, ensuring a framework of professional qualifications related to the European Framework, with study compatibility, increasing success at the time of holding European professionals.
In addition, Father Piquer, located in one of the working-class neighborhoods of Madrid, has as one of his main objectives to bring education to the most disadvantaged, being one of the centers with the most aid and percentage of immigrant population in the capital.
Father Piquer has an experience of training professionals over 40 years of age, with a continuous relationship with the company and the labor market, which implies a constant updating of the students’ competences for their future work.
These companies range from small and medium enterprises to large multinationals with headquarters in several European cities, helping to transmit these market needs at national and European level. In addition, thanks to the program of follow-up visits to the students in their mobility of Erasmus practices, the contact of the teachers of the center with the reality of the European company is direct.
The different professional departments involved in Erasmus maintain a database of alumni updated with their professional background and current situation, having a live employment exchange.
ICT provides a series of facilities for the monitoring of students in their mobility. It also facilitates the distance learning of both students and teachers (training platforms available on the website of the center).
The main reason why Father Piquer started working on European mobility projects was the idea that mobility for learning purposes helps people to increase their professional, social and intercultural capacities and their employability.
The Spanish Vocational Training guarantees the recognition of ECTS credits for the accomplishment of these mobilities in practices. We also provide the supplement to the title of the European curriculum and manage the Europass document.
During the more than 40 years of professional training, very close relations have been achieved with the collaborating institutions (companies and universities), maintaining joint activities, thus favoring the relationship between professional training, business and research.
Father Piquer has agreements with companies for extracurricular training for students and teachers, bilateral use of facilities and resources of institutions, professional visits of groups of students to specific spaces, contact of former students located in the labor market with current students, etc.
It is a non-profit center, allowing the hiring of specific staff for each position, as well as the use of private funds to achieve these goals.