UNIVERSITY – COMPANY DUAL EDUCATION
This is an educational model in which the centre/company and the university are jointly responsible for the student’s education. The learner alternates between the school and the company, they train by working and they learn in the classroom, in a process of continuous feedback.
The raison d’être of Dual Education is based on the imbalance between the needs of companies for new workers with ever more specific profiles that meet each company’s characteristics and the reality of the types of young people who come to them.
This is why it is essential for the company to commit to this educational model in collaboration with the university, offering work places to students/learners. At the same time, the company will have to commit to appointing a company tutor and drafting a training plan in close coordination with the university tutor.
In Dual Higher Education, the student spends half the day at the company learning under the supervision of a company tutor, which is regularly coordinated with the university tutor.
The relationship between the learner and the company has to be through an employment contract. Although, in some cases, it may begin with the signing of an external internship agreement until it is possible to sign the contract (in the case of foreign students). At the same time, companies sign a three-way agreement (company-university-learner) to regulate data protection and to ensure confidentiality.
All of the learning and skills acquisition by the learner is included in the learner’s Learning Record, which will serve at the end of the training process for an objective and consistent assessment.
TRAINING COMPANY TYPES
Initially, any company can train learners. There are, however, some elements that are very attractive in making companies want to become a training company:
Need to take on new workers for forecast growth of the company and to cover retirements.
Need to fill jobs that need average qualifications and a long learning time.
Corporate Social Responsibility: the commitment by the company to train learners has a positive impact on the region. It helps reduce youth unemployment and improves and enhances the company’s image.
WHAT ADVANTAGES DOES IT OFFER THE COMPANY?
Inclusion of new contents of interest to the company in the university’s syllabus.
It motivates the learner in their training throughout their time with the company.
Help in the creation of a bank of future employees and in generational renewal of the work force.
Reduction of external candidate selection processes.
Greater success in hiring decisions. Much greater knowledge of a learner than an external candidate.
Medium-term recovery of the investment made in training.
Ability to train future employees in the company’s working culture and habits (identification with the company, its values and way of doing things).
It helps decide on hiring the learner after the end of the internship.
Rebate on learners’ Social Security contributions (depending on the type of contract).
It promotes social responsibility in becoming a training company, it conveys an image of dynamism and modernity, and it may gain presence in the media, raising its public profile.
HOW DO I IMPLEMENT DUAL HIGHER EDUCATION IN MY COMPANY?
1.- Identify a professional profile
The first step you need to take is to look at your company’s medium-term prospects. Assess upcoming retirements, expected rate of growth and expansion, need for changes and improvement that may entail new staff, etc.
Once you have detected the professional profiles that your company would like to include in the medium term, you need to assess the type of initial training and skills that you think the worker should have as a result of the dual programme.
A second step will be to take a look at the degree courses offered by our university (whether they include the dual option or not). Is there a degree course that meets your needs?
2.- Contact the university (with the coordinator of your chosen course)
Email the coordinator of your chosen course to arrange a meeting. Set out your thoughts and needs.
They will tell you what documentation you need and the basic requirements you should consider and all the steps to take. You will be registered in the companies database (if you are not already in it) and you will be entered on the course website as a collaborating company with the number of places offered for that academic year.
The company tutor must have at least the same qualification as the student is studying for and the necessary professional experience. In addition, they must have a minimum level of skill in organising a work itinerary that helps the student acquire the suitable skills and knowledge, and they must accompany the learner throughout the entire process assertively.
The tutor must meet the UdL tutor regularly so that the learning in both sites is consistent and complementary and embraces all the objectives. Therefore, it is important that the company tutor is committed to taking an active part in all meetings and contribute to them.
4.- Draw up the training programme
In the first meeting with the university tutor, the company tutor must provide at least a layout of the training plan that the student will have to do, and in successive meetings or communications, it must be adapted to the university’s educational programme and the timescales of the degree course (semesters).
This programme must ensure that it can be monitored consistently with the Learner’s Record.
Once your company has been added to the bank of companies collaborating in dual training and has informed of the number of places on offer for the current academic year, you will receive the documentation of a number of students for you to choose from (CV, academic record and questionnaire for the company).
If the selection of the learner ends with an agreement between the two parties, the course coordinator will be informed.
6.- Registration on the campus
The tutor will provide you with access to the campus to be able to select the students.
7.- Sign the agreement
You will have to sign a three-way agreement in which you undertake to hire the learner during their course, appoint a tutor who will monitor and assess the learner, draw up a training plan for the student during their time in your company that is consistent with the education that the university is giving them and inform the UdL tutor of any problem that you may meet in the course of the programme.
The agreement will include confidentiality clauses and clauses on data protection and the commitments of the student and UdL tutor to respect them.
As a complement to the agreement, you will have to sign the Student’s Record in which all the tutor’s observations will be recorded regarding the student’s progress in the programme, the skills acquired and the complements and competencies that they have acquired.
The record will note the timetables, training programme, the name of the tutors and the learner and other important details for assessing the learner/student.
8.- Tutor training (UdL tutor guide)
The university will have to ensure the training of the company tutors as they are the cornerstone on which the progress of the dual education is based. The course coordinator will give the company tutors the tutor guide, which will be the training basis for starting their tutorial experience. Training days for tutors will be promoted regularly by the Vice President’s Office. Companies will be able to ensure the training of their own tutors with a view to attaining excellence in the performance of their task and, consequently, the ideal monitoring of every student in their care.
9.- Prepare the student’s induction.
Before the learner arrives at the company, it is very important to take a series of measures that will ensure the student’s good induction and good learning progress.
It is important to prepare the new learner’s work station and all the tools that they will need for their work. You should decide which people will be responsible for telling them about the work and monitoring them, which people they will work with and what training processes they will follow.
You should draw up instructions cards or manuals so that the learner knows what they have to do and what is being asked of them at all times.
And like any other workers, they should be informed of the internal safety and operating rules, timetables and breaks, and anything they need to know to be able to do their work with sufficient assurances and competence.
It is important that the other workers are informed of their arrival, their job and their status as learner.
10.- Monitor the student
The tutor must know who the person or people responsible for the learner’s training in the company are. It is essential that the learner knows how to contact the tutor at all times. It is also utterly essential that the tutor monitors the student’s development, talking whenever possible to the people in whose care they are.
There should be enough assessment elements to be able to complete the various sections in the Learner’s Record without any problems whenever meeting the academic tutor for assessment.
11.- Conduct the compulsory meetings with the company tutor
In agreement, the two tutors will meet the learner to complete the Learner’s Record and assess their progress and acquisition or otherwise of the various skills.
Should any problems arise, both tutors will meet or communicate with each other to reach a consensus in solving any conflicts. It is very important for both tutors to work in unison and get involved to ensure that the dual education is increasingly more effective. Their contributions are a source of improvement and refinement of the dual system and keeps this educational route alive and in constant development.
12.- Decide on including the learner in the work force permanently.
At the end of the training period, the business-owner can decide whether to rescind the employment contract or renew it. The learner then becomes either another worker in the company or looks for a job in a new one. However, they do this with many more guarantees of having a profile more in line with market needs and with better conditions compared with many other job-seekers.