Miguel and Rubén are two young Galicians who studied together at the Repsol Industrial Facility in A Coruña. Their paths crossed when they decided to breathe new life into their careers by signing up for Dual Vocational Training in Industrial Chemical Operations.
“I’ve always been interested in learning more about machinery”, says Rubén. The 32-year-old A Coruña native earned his degree in Sea Technology. He worked as an engineer officer of the merchant navy for two years and stayed for four more working in renewable energies. After completing this stage, he realised that he needed to expand his CV with some more practical training. “I joined the first edition of the Dual VT in Industrial Chemical Operations, along with Miguel, and I think it was a great decision” he says.
For Miguel Pérez, the opportunity ‘fell into his lap’: “I studied a vocational training programme in Electricity, and then I spend a several years working at a company, but for various reasons I became unemployed. At that time I just happened to hear about this programme and I didn’t think twice. It was a good decision, and it’s allowed me to get where I wanted to go without leaving my city”.
The advanced Industrial Chemical Operations programme taught at IES A Sardiñeira in A Coruña is one of over 10 programmes Repsol supports throughout Spain. The programme generally lasts for two years; it includes both a theoretical portion taught by professors at the centre as well as a work-experience portion in which students receive guidance from employees in the different Repsol facilities and work centres. “It’s very interesting to work in a big company that offers stability, where you’re always learning”, Rubén says.
Rubén and Miguel signed up for the programme in 2013, and after completing a period of work experience they secured work at the A Coruña Refinery in December of 2015. “Repsol gave us a great opportunity, it’s very interesting to see a huge company invest in young people and give them training they can later put in practice as they continue growing within the company”, explains Rubén. Currently, 26% of the people in apprenticeships at Repsol come from a Vocational Training programme.
“The Dual VT programme emphasises the “learning by doing” methodology’, explains Salvador Lorenzo, Manager of Professional Integration and the Internal Instructor Training School at the Repsol Corporate Learning Centre. “As a company, it’s very important to us that our employees receive specialised training that’s directly relevant to the work they will be carrying out in the plant”.
A total of 336 students have participated in the 10 Dual VT programmes supported by Repsol. One of these programmes received an award from the European Alliance for Apprenticeships in 2016. This year, 13 students who did the Advanced Dual VT in Industrial Chemical Operations programme gained employment. Once the programme is over, “many students land a job at Repsol immediately after graduating: around 33% of participants are hired”.
A longer version of this story can be found on REPSOL’s website.
Salvador Lorenzo, Manager of Professional Integration at REPSOL, Spain
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