The secret formula to increase the employability of university students

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The university and the company need each other: the first brings talent and innovation and the second, practical knowledge and professional experience. Nowadays, companies have difficulties finding profiles that match the positions they request: up to 10% of vacancies are left unfilled and close to 20% have to be redefined in order to find the candidates that match What the labor market needs, according to Adecco data from 2018. For this reason, reformulating university education and adapting curricula with a view to the professional preparation of students is an economic and social emergency.

To help break down these barriers, the University-Business Foundation (FUE) has been committed for 45 years to build "long-term relationships" between both institutions. "We act as a bridge between the university world and the business world to be in 'constant listening', which allows us to understand the needs of companies and of the university students themselves," says Fernando Martínez, executive vice president of the FUE. The work practices are the "key for young people to expand their knowledge acquired in the university, and in addition, they are perfectly trained with the reality they will find in the professional world," explains Martínez.

The approach between both worlds facilitates the young people finding their first job without difficulty. "In the FUE we have an 85% employability rate after the completion of internships, so from our experience, there is undoubtedly a direct link between employability and the relationship between the university and the company through these practices. remunerated and of quality that they offer to the young people ", Martinez adds.

If there is a sector in which the link between classrooms and work spaces is closer, that is the industry. manufacturing "He is the leader since 2005 the applications of students and recent graduates in practice. We refer to this industry that is dedicated to the transformation of raw materials into products and goods ready to be consumed and distributed to final consumers, "said the executive vice president of the FUE.

The main barriers to closing the gap would lie in the slowness of procedures within the university system and in the prejudices of companies. "The university is an institution highly constrained in terms of organizational and legislative procedures compared to the speed with which they act in business entities," says the Director of Education and Training of the Cotec Foundation, Ainara Zubillaga. For its part, "companies must remove prejudices and take advantage of the quality and rigorous knowledge that is generated in the university," he says. However, Zubillaga is optimistic and points out that "the distance is getting smaller", although the linking process between university and business is not taking place "as fast as it should".

A model of success
Within our country, we find a clear example of closeness between the classrooms and the working world at the University of Mondragón (Mondragon Unibertsitatea). This educational center is a pioneer in adapting dual training to the university world. «With this program inspired by dual vocational training, students are offered to work part-time to finance their studies in Engineering and ADE. It was implemented five years ago, although it has been doing something similar for more than 50 years within the Mondragón Corporation through Alecop, "says the vice-chancellor of this university, Jon Altuna. "Dual training can be extended to all areas, although some sectors are more favorable than others, as is the case with industry. Something similar is also being done with the students of Education so that there is connection between the university and the schools, "says Antuna.

In addition to the dual university training, students of this private center with campuses in the Basque Country and Madrid must do a job -imprescindible that is remunerated- at the end of a degree or master's degree in a company. "It's about more than a work experience, since students acquire knowledge and content that are specific to the company, it goes further," specifies Antuna. The model is proving successful in terms of employability. "The average rate of unemployment of our students once they leave the university is 9.6%, although in some careers such as Engineering round the%. 15% of our students are placed in entities of the Mondragón Corporation; the rest find their first job in other companies, "says Antuna.

On the other hand, the research carried out in the laboratories of the University of Mondragón is directed, above all, to the transfer of knowledge to companies. "We have agreements with small companies, since they have a greater need for innovative solutions than multinationals. As a result, 75% of our doctoral theses are financed by companies », clarifies the vice-rector of this center. . (tagsToTranslate) university (t) company

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