One of the brighter sides of the global crisis is that, there being less jobs to land, there’s more time for training. And training centers are beginning to catch on – in Spain. There’s the early-bird Grupo IMF (Instituto Madrileño de Formación) for instance which offers some 500 subsidized short courses (400-600 hours each) to the out of job. The idea behind IMF, whose fields of specialization are energy efficiency, workplace hazards, and disability, is to make it easier for the unemployed to find work.
Working in collaboration with 60 companies, IMF is able to guarantee practical experience to its students.
Another outstanding training center is the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) Business School, Spain’s first virtual business school as well as the first to be specifically geared towards pymes (pequeñas y medianas emprrsas or small and medium-sized businesses) and microempresas (1-50 employees). This cyberschoool offers some 200 inexpensive 5- to15-week courses aimed at solving specific problems affecting business organizations. Enrolees may or may not have previous higher-learning attainments.
The UOC Business School is founded to improve the competitive capacity of the pymes which are quite crucial to the business fabric of Spain considering that they not only represent more than 80% of the country’s productive base but also employ half of its workforce.
Says UOC Business School director Joan Torrent,
“La formación es clave para el éxito de las pymes y los autónomos. Los acompañamos en el cambio de su empresa o de su negocio, en un momento en el que la desaparición de pymes es más que alarmante (Training is crucial to the success of the pymes and the self-employed. We´re there for them when they change companies or go through a change in their business, in these times when they pymes are closing down at an alarming rate).”
There’s also the Corporate University of the BBVA whose campus is in La Moraleja, Madrid. The bank reckons that by the end of 2011 70,000 of its 100,000-strong personnel will have trained in the corporate university.
Corporate universities are educational entities that don’t qualify as universities. A corporate university is a vehicle for the achievement of the parent company’s goals. It fosters individual or organizational knowledge and conducts job-specific and, most specially, company-specific training. By definition corporate universities must provide results that impact favorably on the work environment.
Training centers and corporate universities are no products of the current crisis. They have been a growing trend since the early 1990s. But they are, despite this trend, still found mostly in the United States.