“There is a lot of work today and much more work to be done in the future, because what we refer to as the electrification of the economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the vast majority of economic sectors has become unstoppable, and this change requires increasingly digitalised and efficient distribution networks to make it possible”. Endesa's Chief Networks Officer, José Manuel Revuelta, sums up the job opportunities that the energy transition is opening up in the sector.
Responding to this demand for professionals, we have set up a Dual VT programme for MV and LV network operation and maintenance, in partnership with the Ministries of Education of the governments of Aragon, Andalusia, the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, Extremadura and Catalonia, the areas in which our Networks subsidiary, e-distribución, operates.
This is a 130-hour module that is included in the existing vocational training programmes in the Advanced Level in Electrotechnical and Automated Systems and Intermediate Level in electrical and automatic installations, from which 467 students from 26 secondary schools will benefit.
A Dual VT with a great future
Although the training course lasts for two years, three months after starting it, students will be able to begin their internships in Endesa's contracting companies. This will enable them to acquire all the specific information needed to operate electricity grids.
"There is no ad hoc vocational training available for distribution networks and the aim of this programme is to create it. It is also an opportunity to attract the female talent we so badly need," says Josep María Sayols, head of purchasing in Endesa's Networks area.
“This training will also enable us tap into much-needed female talent”.
– Josep María Sayols, Head of Purchasing in Endesa's Networks area.
Furthermore, as Patricia Polite, Head of Sustainability and Circular Economy Projects, assures us, this programme has advantages for all the agents involved: “It allows training to be tailored to the real needs of the market, schools have strong local companies to send students to, teachers receive specific training, contractors can rely on trained local labour, and Endesa improves its relationship with everyone and can continue to work on the just energy transition without leaving anyone behind".
Dual VT: What is it?
Dual Vocational Training is characterised by the alternation between educational centre and company. This means that students develop their learning by combining theory in the classroom and practice in a workplace.
This educational pathway benefits students and companies alike. Firstly, young people enhance their chances of finding work, and secondly, companies can engage in training future graduates while at the same time attracting talent and improving the skills of their future employees.
There are both intermediate and higher level training cycles, but their offer depends on each Autonomous Community and on the centres that apply to offer them.
What are the career prospects of Dual VT?
The high youth unemployment rate (under 25) is a matter of concern throughout Europe, but especially in Spain. Eurostat data from late 2021 tops this rate above 30%, above even Greece, which had led the ranking until then. Both countries are double the Eurozone average (15.5%). Dual VT is therefore a promising opportunity to improve the employability of young people.
According to the 'Statistics on Labour Market Insertion of Vocational Training Graduates', Dual VT has the highest rate of labour market insertion among the different types of vocational training.
Average enrolment rates of graduates in the third year after graduation by autonomous community and dual-non-dual system.
Non dual: 58,4%
Dual graduates: 1,9%
Non dual: 61,3%
Dual graduates: 3,7%
Castilla y león
Non dual: 62,1%
Dual graduates: 1,8%
Non dual: 63,2%
Dual graduates: 1,2%
Non dual: 56,0%
Dual graduates: 1,7%
Non dual: 61,3%
Dual graduates: 4,8%
Castilla La Mancha
Non dual: 61,1%
Dual graduates: 4,6%
Non dual: 55,4%
Dual graduates: 1,2%
The data clearly reveal that the demand for skilled distribution network professionals is on the rise. Turning to the report ‘Connecting the dots: Distribution grid investment to power the energy transition’ published by Euroelectric, E.DSO and Deloitte, electricity grids will call for an investment of between 375 and 425 billion euros in the period 2020–2030 in the EU and UK, which is set to create roughly 500,000 new jobs.