Josu Torrealdea Zarrabe is the Executive Director of CIFP MAKINA – ERREMINTA LHII- IMH.
What does the Advanced manufacturing sector represent for the Basque Country?
Advanced Manufacturing is key for the Basque Country’s economic growth and hence its welfare. It is one of its main regional drivers and it is a priority within its intelligent industry strategy, being also one its smart specialisation’s fields of action. It gathers relevant sectors such as automotive, aeronautics, machine-tool, etc. which are among IMH disciplines and interests.
What do you think that participating in a CoVE project brings to the organisation, to the Basque VET system and to your region?
IMH’s team has always praised cooperation and the search of excellence as key aspects to provide a quality and targeted service to both citizens and companies. And participating in a CoVE project means just that: provide adequate responses to future challenges, in cooperation with stakeholders and having excellence as a driver. This vision is not only important for our center, IMH, but for the whole Basque VET. VET must work locally through local networks, but also in international key initiatives. This is how things are done at the moment. The impact is undoubtedly relevant with regards to regional growth and specialisation.
The project is named Excellent Advanced Manufacturing 4.0. What does “excellence” mean to you?
We are living times of industrial transformation. This is a constant feature in history. VET centers have the responsibility to accompany and support people and companies in this process: by facilitating and accelerating learning. This is putting pressure in our work as it is making us be more rigorous, to integrate new technologies in our learning processes, improve learners’ transversal skills (as relevant as technical skills), support SMES to innovate. On top of this all, we need an strategic vision, we need to be fast and flexible to adapt to change. All of this combined in a sustainable way is ‘excellence’.
How are you implementing the preliminary results of the project within your school?
AT IMH we have a well defined strategy. Our working context is Advanced Manufacturing, and hence the project’s results have apart from being directly embedded within the organisation, are inspiring our strategy. We are already witnessing the first results in the development of the digital factory concept that we are implementing at the moment.
How are Advanced Manufacturing companies involved in the teaching process at your school?
AM Companies are involved in the learning process and in much more than that. They are also involved in strategy decision taking and in IMH management. There is a constant dialogue with the companies.
As far as the learning process is concerned, the companies influence the teaching course design and the teaching objectives because these are drawn according to the companies’ needs. They also have a say regarding teaching disciplines and projects, as we also organise company visits, masterclasses delivered by company professionals, etc. They have an obvious teaching and training role together with the VET center when it comes to the Dual System.
How does your center contribute to improving the competitiveness of advanced manufacturing companies in your area?
We believe that our center is a key agent for companies’ competitiveness and for local growth, or at least we are working towards those main objectives having excellence as our source of inspiration. We provide talent, we provide reskilling and upskilling, continuous education and training pathways. We provide training in new technologies, additive manufacturing learning spaces, digital factories… research and innovation projects, mainly with SMEs, technology but also, and very important, humanity, through human-centered values and active teaching and learning methodologies.