The Competitiveness Agency from Durangaldea coordinates a working meeting at IK4-AZTERLAN
32 representatives of companies, training agents and entities from Durangaldea took part in this working frame, aimed at sharing business experiences related to key industrial sectors and strategies for training professionals to join the industry.
In a globalized and highly competitive environment, companies from Durangaldea, mostly SMEs, face significant challenges in order to remain competitive. The capacitation of industrial sector professionals and the region’s competitive improvement are two of the most important ones, along with the incorporation of new technologies by the local industry.
Organized by the Competitiveness Agency from Durangaldea, the workshop “Key sectors and training strategies in Durangaldea” was held in the facilities of IK4-AZTERLAN Metallurgical Research Centre. The purpose of the meeting was to share ideas, concerns, experiences and future visions on these areas between representatives of the industry, educational agents and local institutions.
Representatives of leading organizations such as the Durangaldea Commonwealth, Estampaciones Durango S.A.; Hetel; Jesús Oñate and Hnos S.A. and the SPRI (Basque Government) gave content to a work-program of great interest.
Mr. Aitor López, President of the Commonwealth of Durangaldea, began the meeting emphasizing the importance of joining forces and collaborate to provide solutions to the needs of the local companies. Thus, he highlighted the training of future professionals and the technology transfer as key issues to build a competitive region.
Mr. Angel María Gárate, CEO of Estampaciones Durango S.A., put on the table some of the difficulties that SMEs daily experience to keep competitiveness in a global market: limitations related to their size and difficulties to introduce 4.0 technologies within the industry. In the same vein, he stressed the need for a proper job training system that would qualify future professionals in these critical areas.
Mr. Alejandro Olagüe, CEO of Jesús Oñate and Hnos S.A. and Vice President of ACICAE (Automotive Cluster of the Basque Country), shared the great impact of the automotive sector around the world, Europe, Spain and at regional level (in the Basque Country, automotive represents 24% of GDP). Mr. Olagüe emphasized the capacities of the Basque Country to maintain a competitive level of technology in a global scenario and stressed that R&D investment is one of the most important factors that makes it possible. He also underlined the role of institutions and the education system and their capacity to support the needs of industry.
As a representative of the educational world, Mr. Julen Elgeta, President of HETEL (an association that brings together 20 vocational education and training centers of the Basque Country) presented to the participants the new models and experiences of capacitation that are gaining force in the Basque Country. Among them, Mr. Elgeta highlighted the Dual Job Training in which students combine studies and practical training in a company through a learning contract. He also introduced the new "Specialization Program" that is supported by reference companies and seeks to develop some other professional skills through solving challenges (this is a scholarship program).
The session ended with the participation of Mr. Josu Ocariz, head of the Department of Innovation of SPRI (Basque Government) who presented to the audience the different programs and grants that this public entity provides to Basque SMEs.
Left photograph: Josu Ocariz, (SPRI), Julen Elgeta (HETEL), Angel María Gárate (Estampaciones Durango S.A.) and Aitor López (Durangaldea Commonwealth). Right photograph: Alejandro Olagüe (CEO of Jesús Oñate y Hnos. S.A. and Vice-President of ACICAE) during his speech.