About three quarters of a million students matriculate to a vocational training program every year in Spain according to the latest figures from Spain’s Ministerio de Educación y Formación Profesional, increasingly leaving behind the traditional model, which had been promoted, of going to university or dropping out of school.

The upward trend in vocational training enrollments in Spain continues to consolidate and increasingly narrows the gap between the education system and the reality of the labor market. Many sectors of the Spanish economy, like healthcare, education, tourism, etc., could not survive without individuals with the skills that vocational training imparts.

Vocational training is closely linked to the current and future labor market. First of all, unlike other types of higher education, vocational training is focused on imparting skills for employability. All vocational training programs have a period of practical training in a company during which they obtain work experience as part of the learning experience. Therefore, companies that hire vocational training students obtain employees with the ability to succeed in their work. Important sectors of the future, such as computing or renewable energy, look for skills acquired through vocational training. All of this contributes to a better work environment for Spain.

In addition, because vocational training is regulated, there are standards that convey the abilities of the students and allow them to continue with higher levels of higher education. People who complete a Grado Superior, the highest level of FP, have the possibility of direct entry into university education. Therefore, vocational training can serve as a first step to more advanced education and career progression.

Distance vocational training has advantages over traditional vocational training (face-to-face or blended) for students, for example: access to a greater number of subjects and degrees, flexible schedules, intensive and interactive use of technology that allows fully personalized teaching, and individualized monitoring by teachers, etc. But distance vocational training also presents important operational and market advantages for companies, such as: the elimination of physical limitations which facilitate international expansion, the reduction of costs that favors price competitiveness, etc. All the aforementioned advantages have favored a strong growth in distance vocational training in recent years.

Finenza, an important player in middle market M&A in the education sector, is currently working with several vocational training centers in throughout Spain in their buy and sell side M&A needs.