“The Boldness of Daring”
Transforming the Basque VET System
Vocational training in the Basque Country has always been very active, working on advanced projects and in very diverse environments and it needs tools that make it possible to continue transforming the way to access information and transmit knowledge. Improvement, innovation and working on projects at an advanced level means, among other things, technology. But this technology also helps us to acquire better information and build up and deepen relationships. The future means cooperation, the exchange and transfer of knowledge and the relationship between people and organisations. “FPeuskadi News” would like to be an instrument that helps achieve these goals. Good luck with this new project, which I am sure will acquire a good footing and achieve the planned objectives
Cristina Uriarte Toledo
Minister of Education, Language Policy and Culture
Technology and information
I would like to welcome you to this first issue of the digital magazine “FPeuskadi News”. A magazine with which we would like to pass on a variety of information about our vocational training, exchange broad experiences in other places and relate to people and centres through a common environment.
I would like to welcome you to our new digital magazine “FPeuskadi news”. This magazine was created with the aim of passing on information and seeking a higher level of interaction and communication between the people that are part of this “big vocational training family”.
It is a very effective way of getting different information on what is being done or is going to be done to all of the people taking part in this training. It is going to be a very important tool for vocational training centres, their management teams and their teaching staff, as well as for students and companies.
FPeuskadi news. A new form of communication, connection and cooperation.
In this magazine, which was created with the intention of being every four months, we will include very diverse information. To do this, we will publish information about the different projects that we undertake, both from the Vice Ministry for Vocational Training and Directorate General of Training and Learning, and from the Basque Institute of Knowledge (IVAC), the Centre for Research and Innovation Applied to Vocational Training in the Basque Country (Tknika) and the Basque Institute of Applied Creativity (ideatk). We will also publish information about our training centres and their various present and future activities. But, in addition, we have opened a section for vocational training centres in the rest of Spain, so that they can pass on their projects to us and we can publicise their activities. Our idea is to add in sections as we go, either because we are requested to do so or because we can see the need to do so.
Being a digital magazine, it will be “open to the world” and translated into three languages; Basque, Spanish and English. We hope that it will be a good forum for meeting, communication and information for all people and organisations involved in vocational training.
Jorge Arévalo Turrillas
Deputy Minister of Vocational Training
4th Basque Vocational Training Plan
Towards different vocational training
In December 2014, the Basque Government adopted the 4th Basque Vocational Training Plan. It is a plan aimed at improving the competitiveness of our companies and the employability of individuals, a plan that should be one of the pillars that drives growth in the Basque economy; smart, sustainable and inclusive.
The evolution of competitiveness in our most important production sectors and the changes which are expected in employability, as well as the launch by the Basque Government of a smart specialisation strategy (RIS3) has made the transformation of various policies necessary, in both the field of economic development and competitiveness and in employment and vocational training.
In December 2014, the Basque Government adopted the 4th Basque Vocational Training Plan. It is a plan aimed at improving the competitiveness of our companies and the employability of individuals, a plan that should be one of the pillars that drives growth in the Basque economy; smart, sustainable and inclusive. Sustained growth over time which allows the creation of quality employment, boosts knowledge, prioritises innovation and maintains social cohesion with guarantees. Vocational training plays a vital role in all of this. This 4th Basque Vocational Training Plan establishes a new combined training, innovation and entrepreneurship model, which will be the new framework in which Basque vocational training will develop advanced projects and activities.
I will highlight 5 key elements of the plan here. The first relates to strengthening the integrated vocational training system. A system launched in 1997 which has been very successful. A system that establishes training aimed at both students in the educational system and employed people who need to acquire greater knowledge to carry out their work or improve their level of qualification, or unemployed people who want to add to their professional qualifications.
Secondly, applied innovation. Innovation aimed, on the one hand, at vocational training, working on and implementing changes in learning methodologies, the organisation of training, the structure of training centres, the design of the classrooms and the use and application of various technologies applied to the training itself, or for access to information and subsequent transfer using powerful communication systems. But also innovation applied to cooperating with SMEs, working with new products, new materials, or improving production processes, so that they can increase and enhance competitiveness.
Thirdly, active entrepreneurship, with the objective of doing everything possible to increase entrepreneurial culture in vocational training students and also stimulate the creation of companies with the support of vocational training centres.
Fourthly, internationalisation, with the objective of providing support to Basque companies with plants located abroad, or cooperating with other countries in the development of their vocational training, or encouraging the mobility of our students and faculty.
And fifthly, vocational training centres, working on ethics, transparency, trust, self-management of their teams, balance, effort sharing and solidarity and working in a network by collaborating with each other and with companies in their environment. A few centres will work on three priority areas. The field of value creation in the services they provide, the field of innovation and improvement, where they start up new projects and improve their ways of working through a good deal of autonomy and the field of strategy and values, where goals are set and intentions and relationships are developed, being highly aware of the importance of social responsibility. Centres with a new advanced management model, with a flexible, autonomous structure, with the personnel and material resources necessary to undertake the various projects, working on creativity, continuing to carry out continuous improvement and establishing good vocational guidance.
10 Years of Tknika
IÑAKI MUJIKA AIZPURUA. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF TKNIKA
30 March, 2005, the inauguration of TKnIka (Technology Knowledge Institute), or (Centre of Innovation in Vocational Training and Permanent Learning), an important date for Vocational Training in Euskadi because it showed, in a real and practical fashion, actions that several of our Centres and professors are carrying out.
Our Vocational Training centres come from a tradition that is very committed to companies and institutions. In fact, many of our small companies were created by people who were trained at our centres.
We could not lose this potential, which is why the Vice-councillor of Vocational Training and Permanent Learning (another one of VT’s great achievements) analysed, proposed and then decided, by means of DECREE 39/2005, dated 1 March, to create the Centre of Innovation for Vocational Training and Permanent Learning (TKNIKA).
Some of the objectives are:
We have worked hard and well over these past 10 years, and we have highly satisfactory results. I am distinguishing between three ages over the course of TKNIKA’s operation.
An initial, interesting defining period, making facilities, providing equipment, selecting staff, etc.
Objectives were defined by management, setting forth the second Basque VT plan, which earned the UNE166.002 R+D+i certification. With a minimum structure, led by Jose Maria Elola, an initiative was put in place that is currently a point of reference across Europe.
10 YEARS OF TKNIKA
Work teams made up of professors from public and charter centres worked together on innovative technological projects, feeling that they belong to a VT centre network. It was a pleasant surprise!
Now we have a new TKNIKA (Centre of Research and Applied Innovation in Vocational Training) with new departments such as:
The training plans for directors and professors at our centres was, and still is, one of our system’s main pillars. Supported by innovation in management, projects such as GUNEKA, URRATSBAT, etc. were studied and implemented as pilots. ICTs were also fundamental, with special importance in regards to how we work at our centres.
This initial period of explosion was overcome by a period wherein Euskadi’s society suffered a crisis. This affected companies, institutions and TKNIKA as well. During this period, it was able to maintain itself and continue with projects begun in the previous period, and under the management of directors Ramón Martinez de Murgia and Josemi Oscoz, it maintained and encouraged the potential we have, such as the integrated network of VT centres.
However, this story continues, and the continuation is today. With humility, yet also excitement, I can say that I have been led to lead, along with our VT Vice-councillor, Jorge Arévalo, coming together once again just we did 10 years ago on “our project.”
We should write, along with many other directors and professors, our life experiences and dreams in a book entitled, for example,
“A WHOLE LIFE IN VT”
We now have a new Basque VT Plan with new challenges and perspectives. Topics such as innovation in learning methodologies, entrepreneurship, creative routines, competitive intelligence, continued improvement, internationalisation, and of course, the applied innovation part in different technologies from different professional families. Being an R+D+i centre, TKNIKA researches issues that have a mid-term needs and are found in our companies. It develops and documents specific learning experiences and innovates by applying, transferring to the entire network or centres, making this knowledge reach our Initial Training students, professionals through Continued Training and to actively unemployed individuals through training for employment.
Now, (we/I have) a challenge: TKNIKA over the upcoming 5-10 years. A well-equipped space, with a young, well-prepared team or internship community that feels like it belongs to an exciting project, with international projection, supporting the needs of our companies abroad and with a VISION to become THE VT reference internationally.
May this introduction act as a welcome to this new digital magazine, which is continuing with the work to transfer and communicate carried out by our previous 15 TKNIKA dissemination magazines. May it also act to thank everyone who believed in TKNIKA for their efforts, those who worked, collaborated and dedicated much more than required.
As follows, you can see some examples of our work in these departments, and I would like to thank, from the bottom of my heart, everyone that helped us with your advice, encouragement and suggestions.
12 June we will be celebrating our 10th anniversary and I hope to be able to see you then.
New progress in continuous improvement in the Basque Country’s Vocational Training
Transforming management to be more competitive
ROSANA GUTIÉRREZ IÑARRA, DIRECTOR OF CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT AREA (TKNIKA)
Today, Vocational Training centres are facing changes within all scopes of management and are making an effort to be competitive and to create a sustainable future with the talent of all their people.
Management of the Basque Country’s Vocational Training centres has been, and continues to be, a reference point both domestically and internationally.
Based on approved standards that are recognised in the company world, such as ISO Standards and the EFQM Model, it has acted to make process management and continual improvement form part of the culture.
Today, Vocational Training centres are facing changes within all scopes of management and are making an effort to be competitive and to create a sustainable future with the talent of all their people.
Their management teams are carrying out leadership with vision, inspiration and integrity, defining strategies to manage their resources independently and with responsibility.
The focus in this way of working has become a mark of identity, their façon d’être, and this is why progress is still being made while seeking new ways to do the right things in a better fashion.
Lean in the educational process
The most advanced companies use Lean both in their production and in their administrative processes. Could Lean be applied to processes at the centres to improve their results?
Tknika’s Department of Continued Improvement is already piloting it at several centres with which it is developing al applied research project. The objective is to design and implement their own continued improvement method based on the Lean culture, so as to help Vocational Training centres to be a more efficient.
Lean’s continued improvement focus is “pure common sense:” if something needs to be improved, the basis must be exhaustive knowledge of the actual status so as to define what the ideal status would be, thereby being able to lay out the most efficient roadmap to reach said status.
The focus on the project lies in key competencies with a lesser level of efficacy in some Intermediate Levels.
Once an exhaustive analysis of the actual situation of the teaching-learning process based on Lean culture concepts was carried out, which led to an image of the status, work is being performed on specifying the ideal status to implement plans for improvement.
In order to implement the plans, different tools from the Lean culture will be used according to the type of improvement being addressed at each specific moment in time.
The image is a reflection of the road travelled to identify the actual status and the steps being taken to define plans for improvement that validate and deploy this method.
Work is being carried out so that the Basque Country’s Lean Improvement Method for Vocational Trainingis validated and available for deployment during the 2015-2016 school year.
The method shall be:
Since 1993, Euskadi’s Vocational Training centres have had sporadic relationships with centres and agents from other countries.
The PETRA programme, which existed at that time, and first the Leonardo programme and then the Leonardo and Erasmus programme, and now Erasmus+, allowed thousands of youth in the country to carry out the Training module at Work Centres in any country in Europe. This made Autonomous Basque Community the region in Europe with the highest rate of participation for youth in the programmes.
This strategy, which started as more of an individual initiative on the part of the centres, became part of the strategy of the Vice Council of Vocational Training as of 2004. Since then, it began its upward spiral that continues in force as of today. It has been recognised by European authorities as a good practise for the rest of regions to follow.
Additionally, collaborating with developing countries or countries with issues in implementing educational policies in the Vocational Training sector was another source of work for some VT centres.
Individual collaborations with Guatemala, Colombia, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Argentina and refugee camps in the Sahara bore witness to the solidarity of VT centres in fields such as teacher training, equipment granting, curriculum design and even creating new VT centres.
Basque Country’s Occupational Training is Setting Forth a New Strategy within the Field of Internationalisation
JOSE LUIS FERNANDEZ MAURE, DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL AREA IN THE FIELD OF VOCATIONAL TRAINING (TKNIKA)
The analysis of the current situation and own and third-party needs has led the Basque Country’s Vocational Training to contemplate a future that is already present, chock-full of excitement with projects and opening up new markets anywhere in the world.
The reports from 2013 and 2014 published by the OCDE and the European Union showed some aspects of Vocational Training, and in general, the model as a practise that should be transferred to any Vocational Training system on any of the continents.
In holding the International Vocational Training Conference, which had representatives from 45 countries in May 2014, the possibility was opened up to many agents to get to know our system from the inside out, much beyond a mere PowerPoint presentation. They had the opportunity to visit the VT centres and to get to know the innovative projects being carried out at TKNIKA. They also got to know how relations between SMEs and Training centres are, or how work is carried out on the concept of entrepreneurship and what the keys were that led to more than 500 companies being created by VT students over the past years.
Another key element that positioning Vocational Training as a world-wide reference was the work carried out on the most important networks of Vocational Training providers:
Participating in these networks allowed Basque VT to share knowledge with the most advanced centres in the world, all while taking a worldwide look at progress in our system over the past 15 years, positioning our reality as one of the best systems in the world.
1. MOBILITY PROJECTS FINANCED BY THE EU
On a yearly basis, more than 10% of students finishing VT have the opportunity to carry out their Training module at Work Centres of companies in any European country, a figure without equal in other European regions.
More than 100 professors working on innovation projects, entrepreneurship, internationalisation, continued improvement, design for new learning scenarios and TIC professors have the chance to visit companies, technological centres, Training centres and reference Universities. This helps them to improve development of projects even more, and if applicable, to transfer the good practises that they have learned to the rest of the industry.
2. MANAGEMENT PROJECTS FINANCED BY THE EU
With all of these strands we have been working on over the past years, the Basque Country’s Vocational Training has woven a situation whose noteworthy aspects are the following:
All of this activity, the contrasts with companies, institutions and international networks, led Vocational Training to create the first INTERNATIONAL BASQUE OCCUPATIONAL TRAINING CAMPUS, which shall be coordinated by TKNIKA.
We have a huge, exciting task ahead of us. Firstly, the task is communication with company groups, clusters, institutions and different organisations. Second, we must study markets, and third, design and short, mid and long-term planning so as to make the Basque Country’s Vocational Training a worldwide reference point in the educational sector.
The International Basque Vocational Training Campus came about with three main objectives:
However, the work carried out has led us to a place beyond the design phase, since we are already have full activity, even before the official creation of said Campus. As follows, we make mention of some of the activities already being carried out at this time.
BASQUE COUNTRY’S OCCUPATIONAL TRAINING IS SETTING FORTH A NEW STRATEGY WITHIN THE FIELD OF INTERNATIONALISATION
In addition to these signed agreements, there are relations with organisations and institutions from most European countries, from Finland to Portugal or from the UK to Italy and Cyprus. We have stable relations with organisations in Germany, The Netherlands, France, Bulgaria, Poland, Lithuania, Denmark, Sweden and Iceland. In addition to Europe, we have relations with institutions and organisations in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Tunisia, Argentina, and China...etc.
ACTIVITIES UNDERWAY IN 2015 AT VETIBAC (International Basque Occupational Training Campus)
BASQUE COUNTRY’S OCCUPATIONAL TRAINING IS SETTING FORTH A NEW STRATEGY WITHIN THE FIELD OF INTERNATIONALISATION
ETHAZI, High Performance Training Cycles: A Different Learning Model
AGUSTIN AGIRRE ANDONEGI, DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH METHODS AND LEARNING PROCESS (TKNIKA)
Euskadi has an internationally recognised occupational training system that played a key part in the competitiveness of its economy. Occupational training to continue providing a response to current and future challenges also requires a new transformation.
After many years of intense work carried out by the entire occupational training educational community in Euskadi, we can say that our centres are currently in a privileged situation as far as equipment and the technical knowledge of its professionals is concerned. This has been frequently corroborated by the companies that collaborate with our centres on a daily basis. However, if we wish for our companies to remain competitive and to increase the employability of our future students, we cannot fall into self-complacency. We know that there is an ever-increasing demand on the market for professionals who, in addition to corresponding technical skills, have skills such as teamwork, creativity, adaptation to change, digital skills, communication, personal and social responsibility, etc. In other words, companies require a new profile for employees.
Within this context, the ETHAZI project is being carried out, which means ETekin HAndiko ZIkloak (high-performance cycles). Performance is understood as obtaining maximum learning potential for students in developing their professional skills (technical + transversal skills). ETHAZI is a ground-breaking methodological change, based on the reality of training cycles, whose objective is to become a reference-point model for occupational training in Euskadi.
ETHAZI, HIGH PERFORMANCE TRAINING CYCLES: A DIFFERENT LEARNING MODEL
This new model has been under development as a pilot experience since the 13-14 school year at 5 occupational training centres, both public and charter, including 320 students and 90 teachers from different training cycles. Furthermore, another 25 centres are already taking their first steps in implementation.
Video: Teknopolis programme
The key element underlying the entire learning model is COLLABORATIVE CHALLENGE-BASED LEARNING. The proposal of a problematic situation, its transformation into a challenge and the entire process all the way to achieving a result, is based on both technical and specific skills from each cycle, as well as transversal skills which, at this moment, have a strategic character. These are: independence in learning, teamwork, orientation toward extraordinary results, etc. In all cases, the problematic situations are proposed to a class broken down into teams, where the work process must make it possible for the student to experience the situation as a challenge, and as of that point, have the opportunity to create the knowledge necessary to provide the best solutions.
Proposing a model through challenges requires reinterpretation of learning mechanics. We cannot understand learning (in consideration of the skill set mentioned before) as the result of one moment’s action, nor as the result of scoring a written test. The interpretation that best fits the model is learning as an evolutionary process, where the student is responsible for their own learning. Challenge-based learning provides for a scenario and a moment in time where the student, on an individual and team level, takes action and produces a result. This result is interpreted, what worked and what didn’t work is analysed, and a decision is made as to what will be done differently with the next challenge to bring ourselves closer to greater results.
This work proposal does not fit into the structural model as we know it today; elements such as schedules, evaluations, classroom configuration, etc., in their curent format are no longer valid and require re-thinking and consequent redefinition.
For the design of these challenges to to be as close to situations of professional reality in each training cycle as possible. This requires thorough analysis of professional skills and the cycle’s learning results so as to improve efficiency in learning times.
SELF-MANAGED CYCLE PROFESSOR TEAMS
Beginning to drive teamwork and responsibility within the teaching team itself, made up of a reduced number of members in charge of the complete training cycle, which, by means of a high degree of self-management can adjust its schedules, use of spaces, shifts and replacements, etc., to the needs that the student’s learning development has at each moment in time.
This same team also distributes individual and group tutoring over the course of the total cycle.
EVALUATE TO EVOLVE IN SKILL DEVELOPMENT
Evaluation is a key element within the student’s learning process, providing him or her with frequent feedback on his or her evolution insofar as acquiring the forecasted professional skills is concerned.
In order to drive this evaluation focus and favour participation therein, both for professors and students (personally and as a team member) and for other players that can provide something to the evaluation process, the specific tool SET was developed (Skills Evolution Tool).
ADAPTING LEARNING SPACES
The implementation of these new methodologies requires classrooms, equipment, furniture and specific spaces other than those that training centres normally have. The main characteristics of their design are flexible, open, interconnected spaces that promote environmental situations that favour active-collaborative work.
Students carry out the learning process in connection with the team, effectively using digital tools for communication, collaboration and content creation.
The key elements of this redefinition are:
ETHAZI, HIGH PERFORMANCE TRAINING CYCLES: A DIFFERENT LEARNING MODEL
Although there are still not enough indicators to quantitatively evaluate the project, the follow-up sessions and interviews with both students and professors and a few companies participating in the project show a hugely positive rating. Therefore, it is forecasted to extend the model to a high number of cycles in the upcoming school year.
The Challenge of Innovation in SMES
JON LABAKA INTXAUSPE, DIRECTOR OF THE TECHNOLOGY AREA (TKNIKA)
I suppose that at some point in time, you must have had the feeling that the world is getting smaller. There is evidence confirming this, since distances are covered in less time. ICTs allow us to communicate and work in real time with any place in the world, and ideas arise and develop in record time. New products are disseminated in a matter of hours, and it is more and more clear that raw materials are scarce, and that the population is obviously growing. Within this context, the effect of globalisation is making our companies always compete against the best company in the world, on a market where more and more competing countries are joining and where needs are also evolving very quickly. This is all becoming even clearer with the crisis, which is forcing companies to optimise their competitiveness by means of innovating to survive.
This need, transferred to the Basque Country where 85% of the companies are SMEs, translates into a need for the SMEs in the Basque Country to be able to innovate. However, this is also evidence that small companies have a harder time with this process, which at times may be new for them.
On the other hand, we owe VT in the Basque Country to the Basque society, and especially to companies. In addition to offering them qualified workers and qualification for workers on their staff, we also accompany them in this innovation challenge. However, how can we articulate a system that supports companies, and especially SMEs, in the innovation process?
In order to respond to this question, perhaps the first thing we should focus on is the singular relationship between companies and VT centres in the Basque Country. A close relationship based on trust and proximity, forged through collaboration and years of joint work. This is because, although most companies are SMEs and are spread out all over Basque Country’s valleys, in each valley we can also find VT centres that collaborate with these companies in a multitude of aspects. This singularity is highlighted in the OCDE report “Higher Education in Regional and City Development; Basque Country; 2013”, and it was a reference point in the European Commission, where our Vice-councillor Jorge Arevalo presented the Basque Country’s Applied Innovation System. The European Commission indicated that the system was a model to be transferred to the rest of member countries.
The second noteworthy aspect is the capacity, equipment and specialisation of these centres, giving them an optimum position to handle companies’ needs.
Lastly, and before explaining the system, we should also consider the aspects that can make it complicated to provide these technological services, such as the diversity in technologies and the environments wherein each company exists. This is why, in designing the Applied VT Innovation System in the Basque Country, we firstly focused on the Basque Government’s strategy. Specifically in EUSKADI’s smart specialisation policies and in the Basque Science and Technology Plan, in capacities for VT centres, innovation agents, and of course, company needs. Designing a system based on three programmes and the centres’ networking efforts.
The first of these programmes are the CENTRE PROJECTS.
In this programme, in order to respond to their environment, the centres are carrying out technological innovation projects, gaining skills and experience in new technologies and applications.
Forty-seven projects are being carried out during school year 2014-15 at the centres, with an investment of 1,705,000€
This programme, whose purpose is to research and experiment, as support for SMEs in new industries and to increase employability, responds to areas indicated as priority in the Basque Country’s smart specialisation policies but that must be developed before generalising the selection of services from VT centres to companies.
Within this programme, 17 projects grouped into 14 areas are being carried out, developed or designed at TKNIKA, with an investment of 825,000€:
The second programme are the SPECIALISATION AREAS.
THE CHALLENGE OF INNOVATION IN SMES
The third and last programme that makes up the Basque Country’s applied innovation system is the STRATEGIC ENVIRONMENTS:
This programme offers innovation services to SMEs from the Basque Country’s VT and is designed as a VT support tool for innovation in SMEs. Under the brand TKGUNE, 21 centres are carrying out innovation services, mainly for SMEs, in::
One characteristic of these environments is that 70% of the SMEs that were provided with services have not carried out prior innovation projects, so this is their first experience. Another characteristic is the joint response given to these needs from centres organised in environments and collaborating as a network to strengthen their capacities.
As observed on the tables, this programme is receiving a warm welcome from companies, which spurs its evolution. From the 96 services we provided the last year, this year, 14-15, we will be providing close to 150 services.
In summary, the Basque Country’s VT has designed a system backed up by the European Commission and by the OCDE, accompanying SMEs in their innovation process. We are convinced that this will be key in the Basque Country’s economic development.
Video: Teknopolis programme
THE CHALLENGE OF INNOVATION IN SMES
Within the framework of the 4th Basque Vocational Training Plan, and in line with the strategic scopes of “Applied Innovation” and “Complete VT Centre Network,” since 2013/14, we have been carrying out the Creative Routines and Competitive Intelligence programmes, which come together in creating an advanced management model for VT innovation in Euskadi.
The Creative Routines project’s purpose is to design and implement the three following basic routines at centres:
Said routines are closely connected to one another. They channel creative and innovative potential at centres, protecting them from the being “bogged” down in the day to day. We desire for centres to know how to find a place and time to think in terms of OPPORTUNITIES (observation routine), in terms of POSSIBILITIES (project portfolio routine) and in terms of VALUE (exploitation routine).
This is an important cultural change, since it makes it easier to develop the centre’s innovative capacity, as well as its capacity to evolve and to transform. We are proposing a deliberate search for this transformation. This is not something that happens to us, but rather something we seek out, that we provoke (action capacity).
By means of this project, centres are able to understand signals, give them a meaning, create responses, act and evaluate their innovative effort, and all of this within a
Innovation Management at Vocational Training Centres
Creative Routines and Competitive Intelligence, two complementary projects oriented toward fomenting the innovative culture of Euskadi’s VT.
SAMUEL TRIGUERO ÁLVAREZ, ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND INNOVATION DEPARTMENT COORDINATOR (TKNIKA)
Complementary representation of Competitive Intelligence and Creative Routines
virtuous self-feeding cycle, whose end goal is to create VALUE for clients (students, companies and society in general) as well as to draw VALUE for the Centre and the VT System.
As follows, we provide some data on the scope of the project (updated 30 April 2015) in terms of centres and people involved, meetings held, workshops, training hours given, etc.
The following table includes indicators on the project’s progress:
“Creative Routines” project monitoring indicators
Basic model: COMPETITIVE and PROSPECTIVE INTELLIGENCE - VT in the BASQUE COUNTRY
INNOVATION MANAGEMENT AT VOCATIONAL TRAINING CENTRES
Monitoring indicators for the “Competitive and Prospective Intelligence” project
As indicated at the beginning of the article, by means of both projects, Euskadi’s VT centres are establishing sold foundations to become organisations, operatively and culturally, that are prepared to adapt to the drastic changes already taking place in the educational and company world that require innovation and transformation capacity.
The following table shows data on the project’s monitoring:
On the other hand, the Competitive Intelligence project seeks to design and implement a “Competitive and Prospective Intelligence system at VT Centres, focused on people and an organisational culture characterised by decision-making based on relevant information.”
The Competitive and Prospective Intelligence Model for VT in Euskadi, whose design and development is being participated in by 12 Vocational Training Centres, both from the public and the charter network, and with the collaboration of the University of Mondragon, includes all of the perspectives required by the surveillance and competitive intelligence system of an advanced organisation. As such, key elements are collected to fit into management systems at the centres; a proposal for indicators (control panel) associated with surveillance activity; the organisational support necessary for competitive intelligence activities (organisational model), a reflection on the typology and nature of the decisions an VT centre regularly faces (decision-making map); the identification of critical factors and scopes in surveillance (main CI axes for VT/VOT); connection with the rest of processes at the centre (processes map); a proposal for tools that can be used to draw, filter, curate and disseminate information (CI tools); a set of orientations for CI implementation at centres (implementation guide and implementation plan), and finally, a training and sensitisation module (training and sensitisation) to guarantee that this is extended to all personnel.
The drive toward entrepreneurship in Euskadi’s Vocational Training has been a priority for more than a decade now. It is becoming more and more evident, within the framework of the 4th Basque VT Plan, explicitly including the “Active Entrepreneurship” strategic scope, focusing on fomenting entrepreneurial culture and supporting the creation of technology-based companies with greater growth potential, especially within an industrial scope.
As instruments that help us to specify the aforementioned strategy, Euskadi’s VT has had Urratsbat (support for entrepreneurial initiative) and Ikasenpresa (development of an entrepreneurial culture amongst Occupation Training Students) programmes for more than a decade. In addition to these successful initiatives are other lines of work which, although with a shorter history, already have a great ability to drive and complement the two aforementioned programmes. We are talking about the MAE programme (Metodología de Acompañamiento a la persona Emprendedora) (Methodology of Accompaniment for Entrepreneurs), now in its third edition, which guarantees updating skills for professors-drivers of entrepreneurship working at the centres. As a communication and dissemination tool, we have the Ekingune platform, Euskadi’s VT online platform.
Euskadi’s VT Entrepreneurship Ecosystem
Total and advanced support in favour of culture and entrepreneurial initiative
SAMUEL TRIGUERO ÁLVAREZ, ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND INNOVATION DEPARTMENT DIRECTOR (TKNIKA)
Video: Urratsbat and Ikasenpresa programmes summary
Within the curriculum itself, the Ikasenpresa programme is in charge of bringing the entrepreneurial world to the student, both from mid-level and from upper years. By means of active methodology, students learn to enterprise by enterprising. This programme offers a significant learning experience to students, working on skills associated with entrepreneurial initiative by designing, developing and creating an “ikasenpresa” (educational company). With this methodology, students “live” the real company-creation process. This programme is configured to be the “pool” of entrepreneurs who, afterwards, if they decide to do so, can create their own company, joining the Urratsbat programme, which offers full support in company creation.
The three aforementioned programmes (Ikasenpresa, Urratsbat and MAE) are closely related, forming a “perfect triangle” to fully address entrepreneurship in the educational setting.
VIDEO: MAE Programme (Entrepreneur Accompaniment Methodology) (Metodología de Acompañamiento al Emprendedor)
The Urratsbat programme offers VT students and alumni a complete accompaniment service during the creation process for their own company. As such, the framework of action for this programme is based on five essential elements:
EUSKADI’S VT ENTREPRENEURSHIP ECOSYSTEM
The MAE programme is an advanced training programme oriented toward the driver-professor, facilitating their skill development and recycling. The programme offers:
Another three initiatives, recently launched, complement the three aforementioned. They guarantee evolution of VT entrepreneurship strategy in Euskadi over upcoming years. We are talking about the “Innovative Entrepreneurship” project, the Internship Community for Urratsbat companies and the Entrepreneurial Centre research project.
VIDEO: Urratsbat Companies Internship Community
The Innovative Entrepreneurship initiative came about in response the 4th Basque VT Plan’s objective of fomenting the creation of innovative companies, with a more solid technological base and capacity to create employment and wealth. We are talking about an advanced service to identify, develop and accompany start-ups arising in Euskadi’s VT entrepreneurship ecosystem. In this regard, at Tknika, an initiative is being carried out based on the configuration of a “high-quality” contact network (advanced consulting services, risk capital funds, market intelligence systems, etc.) that guarantee provision of an excellent accompaniment services for this type of projects, as well as a physical setting to house start-ups (Business Incubator - Edificio KABI 612, Parque Tecnológico de Zamudio http://kabi612.eus/).
The Urratsbat Companies Internship Community project (made up of around 370 companies from the Urratsbat programme, which are still active) is becoming an allied collective for entrepreneurial strategy. How can we “exploit” these active companies’ capacity in favour of future entrepreneurs, all while strengthening their projects? In this regard, we are developing a plan oriented toward “mobilising” this collective, which should lead to the creation of a veritable “Internship Community” between Urratsbat companies and entrepreneurial students (those who have carried out entrepreneurial projects, help those who are doing so, and in turn, they strengthen their own projects).
We round off the group of initiatives with the Entrepreneurial Centre, which is Tknika’s research activity star project within the scope of entrepreneurship.
The Entrepreneurial Centre may be understood as an institutional and organisational “space.” In other words, a complete and coordinated ensemble with strategic intent, an organisational structure, processes, along with a portfolio of services and relations, whose end goal is to generate a constant flow of opportunities, initiatives and experiences with a high-quality impact in educational, economic and social terms. Through this, students, professors, management teams, administration and service staff are qualified, active players in creating value, both for the society wherein they are taking action and for their own personal and professional development. This applied research project allows Euskadi’s VT to “sketch out” future strategy for VT entrepreneurship in Euskadi, helping us to create new initiatives and to improve those already existing.
In order to finish the break-down on initiatives related to entrepreneurship, we are reinforcing and providing consistency to what we call “Euskadi’s VT Entrepreneurship Ecosystem,” understood as an ensemble of interactions between the entrepreneurial student, professor, specialised resources, relational capital, coordination mechanisms and shared strategy.
When we speak of the “VT Entrepreneurship Ecosystem,” we want to highlight the potential provided by the Vocational Training System in Euskadi, understood as the ensemble made up of:
All of these elements are oriented, in a conscientious and decided fashion, toward favouring the development of entrepreneurial initiative and innovation, forming a privileged environment for any individual wishing to enterprise. Without a doubt, we are talking about an environment with huge capacity to house and drive projects to create companies in practically any setting or production sector.
As such, all of us forming part of Euskadi’s Vocational Training System have the responsibility of providing value to this potential at the service of entrepreneurial initiative. We must reinforce coordination, deepening knowledge of the company creation process, innovating services and programmes for entrepreneurship, and placing all resources available at the service of the central element, or the ecosystem’s main player: the entrepreneur.
EUSKADI’S VT ENTREPRENEURSHIP ECOSYSTEM
In 1997, the 1st Basque Plan established a new model for centres: integrated vocational training centres were configured as specific institutes of advanced vocational training. Over the years, these centres have been providing cover to the integrated vocational training system in the Basque Country. Now, these centres have been transformed, among others, into new integrated vocational training centres that are being created, on the one hand, to ensure leadership in the implementation of the objectives listed in the 4th Basque Vocational Training Plan and, on the other hand, to establish a new model comparable to non-university institutes of higher education in other advanced European countries
These new centres will drive the changes that vocational training needs to respond to the demands and challenges of the production sector and provide people with training to upgrade their skills and promote their employability.
By their very essence, integrated centres will be organisations with a great deal of autonomy, open and flexible, with a great ability to react in order to work in constantly changing complex environments, which interact with different interest groups, making a positive impact in production sectors and in society.
Integrated Vocational Training Centres:
A strategic model for different vocational training
Integrated vocational training centres are dynamic organisations with a different structure and organisation, with a new way of doing things and a great ability to react, which will promote personal and professional talent
and prioritise shared projects and cooperation.
IN SHORT, THEY ARE A DECISIVE COMMITMENT IN THE CREATION OF VALUE FOR THE COMPETITIVENESS OF OUR ECONOMY
These integrated centres must respond to the changing needs of training people, whether they are students or working people. They will contribute to driving innovation applied on SMEs in the improvement of products and production processes, promote an entrepreneurial culture and boost the creation of companies. In addition, they will support companies in internationalisation processes and work in different collaboration networks, both between centres and between centres and companies
The network of integrated centres, as agents generating knowledge, will have a key role and will constitute a highly specialised professional training system with the objective of supporting our production sector in processes to improve their competitiveness.
It is necessary to make a qualitative leap in the response capacity of vocational training centres and to do this, integrated centres will implement an advanced management system through competitive intelligence processes and establish a culture of innovation through the design and development of different creative routines.
ideatk, Creativity in Occupational Training
BEGOÑA ARTOLA OTEIZA, DIRECTOR OF IDEATK
Creativity is a step prior to innovation. During the creative process, ideas are generated and they are tested and evaluated to decide which one of them can become an innovation project.
Innovative companies need people with creative skills, people able to create proposals, establish objectives, evaluate priorities and create alternatives.
We are all more or less creative. Creativity is a skill to be developed, and for companies, it is fundamental to take advantage of the creativity of everyone working therein.
Given the need to develop these skills, the Vice-councillor of Vocational Training is going to create the Basque Institute of Applied Creativity in VT, ideatk.
The objective in creating ideatk is to foment the creative talent of professors and students of occupational training, developing their creative skills, creating spaces where they can materialise and develop their ideas with advanced technologies, and driving entrepreneurship in new creative spaces.
In order to carry out all of the aforementioned, ideatk shall have two areas:
In our current situation, the capacity to produce things is being replaced by coming up with ideas, designing and placing new products on the market in record time. Creativity is becoming a competitive strategy for companies.
In order to develop creative capacity, work will be carried out on lateral thought, creative thought, construction though, emotional intelligence and executive intelligence.
Thought will be worked on, since all creative processes begin with an idea, and an idea begins with thought.
Our brain is divided into two hemispheres. The left hemisphere is in charge of logical thought, and the right hemisphere is in charge of creativity and emotions.
There are problems that are resolved logically, and then there are problems that require a creative solution. We must know how to differentiate between, and resolve, both types of problems. Generally speaking, we are accustomed to using the left hemisphere. However, the right one? Not so much. Logical and creative thought is necessary and complementary: creative, to generate ideas, and logical, to analyse them and select the most appropriate one. Regardless of the creative skills we each have, there are tools and techniques to develop them. However, in this creative learning process, we must also learn about the attitudes blocking us, preventing us from being creative.
The creative process does not end with the creation of ideas. You need to take action. They must be designed, tested, evaluated, and alternatives must be created, all while maintaining the effort and energy necessary to carry out the project. This is where executive intelligence is going to help us.
To achieve high rates of creativity and develop creative talent on the students’ part, professors must be trained and motivated. It is fundamental that professors be intensely involved, firstly developing their creative talent, with a positive attitude toward the activity that they are carrying out, getting to know and understanding the methods, thoroughly practising them and creating ways to stimulate the students’ creative process, since creativity is not taught, but rather stimulated.
1. Creative Thought Area
This Area develops the methodology necessary to systematise the procedure to improve creativity, developing the creative talent of both professors and students. This methodology is oriented towards professors, providing them with tools and skills to integrate and apply creative techniques in implementing new occupational training projects.
2. Applied Creativity Area:
In this area, research, design and experimentation will be carried out on new open artisan creativity spaces with advanced technologies. This is where ideas may be developed wherein teachers and professors from different specialisations may cooperative, the creation of companies in new creative settings will be driven.
The creative process is no good if it ends with the mere creation of ideas; they need to be carried out.
To this end, creative learning laboratories with machines and digital manufacturing tools will be made to create, experiment, develop and evaluate ideas.
Digital manufacturing consists of producing physical objects with machines receiving information from a computer. One way to be competitive is to develop products and projects with personalised solutions. Digital manufacturing is a way to quickly materialise ideas.
Furthermore, an appropriate creative environment encourages creativity, so these spaces will be developed for collaborating and working as a team. Here, ideas will be developed wherein the students and professors from different occupational training specialisations may collaborate, as well as companies.
Given how quickly everything is changing, new trades will be appearing, or those we already know will transform, like how we now have another way of commercialising products since the birth of the Internet.
In this area, students may develop projects with the goal of creating companies in new creative settings.
It should be noted that an entrepreneur is characterised by being creative and innovative in his or her thoughts and in how they take action. This implies they he or she is active, decided and determined to reach the goals proposed.
At ideatk, creativity in occupational training is to be encouraged. This is understood as an attitude, not a tool to solve sporadic problems.
For students and professors to develop their creative skills, occupational training centres as an organisation must be open to creativity. Each centre has characteristics that make it different from the rest: the number of students, professional families, the number of training cycles, the environment, etc., so the process and conditions to make creativity is a regular practise requires different conditions for each centre.
ideatk has begun working with several occupational training centres, creating groups of motivated people at said centres to design a development plan for the creative process that is adapted to each centre. In order to initiative this process, the group members need to master creative techniques. This is why we will be working with specialists in constructive thought, creativity and emotional intelligence, helping to implement a system that foments creativity and where members from each group are who develop said system.
We are working on making the effects of creativity visible as soon as possible. However, this will be long-lasting work, because the changes we are developing are complex to apply. However, we believe that creativity is mandatory to improve employability possibilities for people, to develop effective entrepreneurship and to create value in company competitiveness. This is our objective and we are putting all of our effort into it.