The Barcelona New Economy Week (BNEW) came to a close on Thursday, but its significant panels continued until the very last day. In his presentation, Eduard Rodés explained that when discussing the collaboration between companies and educational institutions, it may seem as if we are referring to separate worlds. However, I believe that the most significant transformation in recent years has been the successful integration of these two entities.
Eduard Rodés, the director of the Escola Europea, spoke during the BNEW Talent event titled “Building the Future Training for Today’s Companies.” He emphasized that it is imperative for companies and educational institutions to collaborate to ensure effective training.
The panel, introduced by Núria Casas and moderated by Lourdes Sugranyes, Director of Inclusive Employment and Training at Barcelona Activa, featured other professionals from the sector, including Eva Expósito, who is responsible for Youth Support Services at the Public Employment Service in Catalonia; Silvia Miró, the director of the working area at PIMEC; Yolanda Redondo, the Secretary-General of Transcalit, and Gemma Verdés, the director of Post-obligatory Education and Special Regime at the Consortium of Education in Barcelona.
During his presentation, Eduard Rodés pointed out that while discussing the alignment of companies and educational institutions, it might seem as if we are dealing with entirely separate realms. Nonetheless, he stressed that the most significant change in recent years has been the successful integration of these two entities. The goal is not merely to train individuals and hope for subsequent employment but to equip them with the specific skills required for immediate integration into the workforce. Both initial training and ongoing education are of vital importance.
He also highlighted a shift in the role of the “triple helix,” which encompasses the public administration, academia, and businesses. Achieving alignment among these entities is crucial for making education a standard component of a company’s operations. Business owners need to take an active role, and educational institutions must become an integral part of the system to adapt their curriculum, ensuring that teachers and students are prepared to meet industry demands, according to the director of the Escola.
A while back, the Escola Europea initiated a programme called “Aprenem junts” with the intention of sending teachers to companies and having industry professionals teach in schools. Now, such participation is a requirement. In other words, companies interested in joining the talent pool they create must commit to taking on dual students, hosting teachers, and providing instruction to schools, as explained by Eduard Rodés.
These programmes are becoming almost obligatory, fostering a commitment between companies and educational institutions, as noted by the director of the European School. Lastly, he emphasized the importance of language acquisition, particularly English, stating, “We all need to ponder a question: Is Barcelona ready to take on a leadership role in the Mediterranean? For instance, all our courses are conducted in English because proficiency in the language is essential.”