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Encouraging Higher-Level Training in the Future Automotive and Mobility Sectors

Encouraging Higher-Level Training in the Future Automotive and Mobility Sectors

The automotive and mobility sectors are developing rapidly. Several levels of disruption are making structural changes to the sector, such as new stricter emission standards and decarbonisation as part of the new concepts of more sustainable mobility, connectivity, and ongoing digitisation.

All these changes have an impact on the professional future of workers throughout the value chain and across all the existing organisational levels. The new jobs that will emerge will require a combination of different skills and a permanent adaptation of the levels of competences to incorporate the evolution of the sector into the reality of companies.

To this end, the Departament de Recerca i Universitats, in collaboration with the del Consorci de Formació Professional d’Automoció (CFPA), will promote a higher education project to answer to this new paradigm with the participation of the Fundació Centre d’Innovació i Tecnologia de la UPC (CIT UPC) through CARNET. It also counts with the participation of the Clúster de la Indústria d’Automoció de Catalunya (CIAC).

This initiative aims to design higher education modules, belonging to levels 4 (for graduates of degree or equivalent) and 5 (for master’s degrees or equivalent), in future mobility and automotive fields, under the guidelines for ex-ante accreditation of short-term programs linked to the catalogue of training specialities drawn up by the Agència de Qualificació Universitària (AQU).

Training programmes must focus on topics that can be agreed upon between universities and businesses. This will make the courses adapt to the real needs of industry and incorporate university methodology, while responding to present and foreseen needs for predictable innovations in the sector.

From CARNET, we seek to expand and contrast information to the definition of these courses, prioritizing the content of these courses. In addition, the target group of these courses will be identified and determined considering the establishment of medium-term synergy for the participation of companies in these courses.

To identify the training needs of the sector, a procedure with several steps is applied. As a starting point, theoretical exploration provides an overview of global trends in the sector. Based on the study ‘Competences and training needs of the automotive sector in Catalonia’ developed by the Consorci de Formació Professional d’Automoció and more than 80 other studies on the future of mobility from the period 2017-2020 (academic publications, reports of EU research projects, professional reports of world leaders consultants, etc.) the drivers of change that will influence mobility and transport and their employability have been identified.

On the basis of this theoretical research, a proposal for thematics is drawn up, contributing both to the development of products, to manufacturing innovation, and new mobility concepts. Proposals include activities by Reskilling, if a person wants to change their current workplace and move to new tasks, as well as activities by Upskilling, if a worker already has prior knowledge of the scope and wants to expand them.

To validate and contrast the proposal with the local training needs of Catalonia, a series of interviews with key agents of the sector is held. This is how the point of view from the various stakeholders involved is being considered, as they will ensure the viability of this training programme and boost the production capabilities in our geographical area.

To complement the results of the interviews a questionnaire was prepared, which has been sent to companies and public institutions in the sector. In the last instance, an analysis of the offers of work is performed, to obtain an overview of the labour market in Catalonia and to solidify the results of the previous steps.

After analysing all the previous aspects of global studies, validation by companies, and analysis of trends in emerging job vacancies, the offer of eight training programs embedded in five thematic axes is concluded: autonomous and connected vehicle, electrification, data and functional security, cities and their mobility and intelligent manufacturing.

Based on the proposal of topics, the Departament de Recerca i Universitats coordinates the formation of teams of university experts for each program. These teams of three to six experts design the training programmes in accordance with the criteria of the European Qualifications Framework (EQF-MEC).

Formative programs are presented to the Servei Públic d’Ocupació Estatal (SEPE) with the aim of being incorporated into the formative specialties catalogue. Once the formative programs have been adapted, they have been sent to the Agència per a la Qualitat del Sistema Universitari de Catalunya (AQU) and are currently in the process of validation.