The situation of mechanical subcontracting in the industry. Fourth (and last) part – What to do?

The subcontracting needs of Spanish companies arose in the late 80s, early 90s of the last century, when the great steel and not less great naval industry, which we have previously mentioned, disappear, and companies realize that they can make variable what until then was considered a fixed cost, i.e., : the personnel of the areas that justice did not declare as essential in a company: maintenance, investment engineering and logistics. Companies dedicated to supplying personnel to other client companies were created around this. And for this, a series of contractual modalities were developed between the companies. Modalities that we have discussed widely in Chapter 3.

We are in a critical moment of commitment to the industrialization of the country. This crisis has once again caught us in a weak position. Our imbalance in the public sector, plus an excessive exposure of our economy to cyclical fluctuations, means that once and for all, the commitment to industry in this country is not a necessity, but rather an imperative. I have nothing against having sectors such as construction or tourism as benchmarks of our economy, but we have to know what it leads us to. I’ve already talked about it in other articles.

If this is so, we need good professionals who supply our industries, people who have an appreciation for what they do and for the sector they represent. On the subject at hand, we must regain a taste for the craft, for a job well done. And that starts at the base, with actions like the following ones or similar:

  • It begins with schools, to give prestige to these crafts that, being so necessary, are forgotten.

  • We need a clear collaboration between companies and professional training, so that it supplies the industry of professionals we need.

  • It takes a commitment from all administrations to first be aware of the critical moment in which we find ourselves and secondly to apply policies that strengthen the country’s industrial fabric.

  • We all have to make an effort and a commitment, from the base, which are the families and the schools, to provide students with academic careers, giving a clear and sincere orientation based on their desires, yes, but also on their possibilities.

  • In light of the above, it makes no sense to persist in the memory study that occurs in Spain for people with characteristics of manual development. It is a waste of time, and a paving way to frustration.

  • There must be a national plan that encourages companies to collaborate in vocational training. A plan that provides incentives to companies that do so, with subsidies, tax credits, training, etc.,

  • Similarly, vocational training must include, within its academic layout, an internship program carried out in companies, as part of its fulfilment. There is no point in educating people who have not presented themselves to the challenges that occur in the real world.

  • Recover the figure of the Apprentice in the Labour Legislation. Currently the Training contract is very limiting in terms of the activities that the person in training can carry out. I understand that current legislation tries to avoid employer abuse and malpractice, but the result is that it discourages the use of training contracts.

  • Link the apprenticeship contracts to the educational curriculum, implementing credit systems that facilitate the progression of the apprentice towards technical careers of medium and higher degree. It can be a means of engagement, since currently when the regulated professional training ends, there is no other way of hiring than the category of assistant.

  • Create an Erasmus of the FP. Something that is now only reserved for university degrees, should be opened to professional schools so that they can learn other realities, learn languages ​​in which they must then be understood by technicians who come from other countries, know about other technologies, in short, an open up to the world. And vice versa, receiving boys from other countries for their professional training practices.

They are just ideas. Logically, I do not have the keys or the solutions for the whole problem. It is also true that other people and institutions must arbitrate them. I only intend to put on the table a problem that companies see on a day-to-day basis, both for those we hire, as well as those who feed us on professionals. We are not an attractive country for vocational training, which pays good professionals badly, and cares for them even worse. As I think I have shown in this series of articles, we are already paying the consequences of past mistakes in wrong educational and social policies. And the more we let time pass without putting solutions on the table and applying them, the worse. Because, once again, we are already late.