Innovation in the government-run Continuing Vocational Education and Training programme for unemployed in Catalonia (Spain): Challenges and opportunities

Liviu Catalin Mara


Purpose: This paper offers relevant insights from the activity of the network of Centres d’Innovació i Formació Ocupacional (CIFO), analyzing the development of innovation in a continuing education and training (CVET) programme for unemployed, in Catalonia (Spain). (Required field)

Design/methodology/approach: This is a qualitative study, carried out using the communicative methodology approach and co-constructing knowledge with the heads of the centers. The data was collected through the realization of eight interviews with the heads of seven of the eight CIFO that compose the CIFO network in Catalonia plus the Coordinator of the network, who had been head of the other CIFO, and it consisted in identifying the barriers to innovation and the elements that help to overcome them within different dimensions of this programme, through the exclusionary and transfomative dimensions, specific to the communicative methodology. (Required field)

Findings: Innovation at the CIFO has three main strands where we have identified many opportunities for the CIFO: methodological, pedagogical and technological. The methodological has to do with the actions derived from the ISO 9001 certification, which gives the centres the mission of continuous improvement and satisfying the needs of the people and enterprises in the territories they serve. Pedagogical innovation is related to the detection of the innovation and including it in the curriculum of the centre, organizing experimental training courses, using the project methodology, enhancing entrepreneurship, or introducing digital technologies in the classroom. Technological innovation is related to the use of the latest technologies and equipment in the market.

 (Required field)

Social Implications: This study opens new venues for research in the area of VET, CVET and lifelong learning because of its implications in adjusting education and training to the requirements of the labor market and improving students’ employability and helping them develop or design their personal projects and professional trajectory. The processes described in this article could be transferred to other contexts and in all types of activiiesy or initiatives in lifelong learning.

Originality/value: This study contributes to fill a gap in the scientific literature, because innovation in the area of continuing vocational and education training and even in lifelong learning is scarce. Another contribution of this article is the focus on innovation, which is one of the main priorities for the EU in the area of Education and Training, and aso in the US, because of its contribution to economic growth and competitivity.  (Required field)


Innovation, CIFO, CVET, lifelong learning, Communicative Methodology

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Intangible Capital, 2004-2024

Online ISSN: 1697-9818; Print ISSN: 2014-3214; DL: B-33375-2004

Publisher: OmniaScience