The explosion of robotics and home automation reinforces a great cover of education: the FP of Electronics
In the Vocational Training classes of the Martín de Aldehuela Institute in Malaga, the students of the Higher Cycle of Telecommunications and Computer Systems have learned to mount a control with temperature sensors with a Raspberry Pi as the brain. 850 kilometers away, in the robotics classroom of the Sagrado Corazón Professional School in Logroño, other students have programmed small robot arms that can be applied for the reception of grapes in a winery after the harvest.
All are part of different degrees within the family of FP Electricity and Electronics, a branch that has been reconverted to the point of going from seeming to go downhill in popularity and enrollments to being seen as a safe bridge to the world of work.
“There was a time, after boom of construction, in which the electronics FP lost a lot of interest for students who came from secondary school and high school. Everything had been focused on training for buildings. Today luckily that is changing, but that inheritance still weighs, “he tells Engadget Francisco Lorenzo Capel, Professor of Electronics at the Martín de Aldehuela de Málaga, who throughout his 20 years of experience has been seeing how the profile of the students changed, the training they were given and, of course, the technology.
From Logroño, Rubén Ayesa, also professor of VET in Electrical and Automatic Installations at the Sagrado Corazón School in the capital of La Rioja, it also affects this transformation: “There has been an important change in the vision of the student, but there is still much to do. Both at the level of the curriculum of the modules, and of specialization”, he points out. .
Much of this transit is due to how home automation has impacted our day-to-day life and robotics in the processes of more and more industries. The very nomenclature of current degrees gives an idea of this evolution. In 2010 the Middle Grades of the branch were called ‘Consumer electronic equipment’ and ‘Electrotechnical equipment and installations’. Now, they have changed to ‘Telecommunications Installations’ and ‘Electrical and Automatic Installations’. Some subtle modifications but that show the arrival of automation from the name.
The problem – which, of course, there always are – is that the last major curricular change of the entire FP electronics family occurred just ten years ago. And also, what it is usually one of the most expensive grades, which causes it to creak in the accounts of the budgets of the centers. “We are going from wanting to generate private electricians in a chain to wanting to train professionals who work and program with robots. And these changes cost”, says Ayesa. This is the story of how that change is going and how trainers see the future.
“I want to study electronics” … Or I’m just here for the job
Within the current boom of VET, which has increased its number of students enrolled by 23% in the last five years, the Electricity and Electronics family seemed to have lagged behind when it came to hiring new students … Until VET appeared Basic
Statistics from the Ministry show how all the degrees of this extended family (10 cycles in total from Basic FP to Higher Level, plus three new specialization courses) have rebounded strongly since it was reformed and the approach more linked to construction began to be put aside.
Today they touch titles ranging from telecommunications and 5G facilities to robotics, home automation or clinical telemedicine. Of them, Electrical and automatic installations in medium grade, or Automation and industrial robotics and Telecommunications and computer systems in superior are the most successful cycles if we look at the number of students.
“But neither do we think that this is a continuous trickle of vocations”, clarifies Lorenzo Capel, who points out that in one way or another many students end up enrolling in electronics degrees in pursuit of finding a job that promises high employability. “There is everything, but it is true that many children land who do not know very well what they are coming for. I also think that training in technology in ESO and Baccalaureate is not very well focused to represent what we do here,” says Ayesa in this regard .
Today in the electronics family titles ranging from telecommunications and 5G facilities to robotics, home automation or clinical telemedicine are played.
The feeling that the electronics family is securing employment right now is justified. According to the report Infoempleo, 8.9% of the offers that required some degree of VET last year requested training in electronics, only behind Administration.
“Whoever finishes the cycle has a job, often with a company waiting for him”, Rubén Ayesa, professor of Electronics and Automated Systems
“In many congresses for VET trainers there is always an impact on them. Few students come from a technological baccalaureateSurprising as it may seem, and part of the explanation is that the productive system in prominent sectors like this is inverted. The demand is generated and we are adapting as we can, “says Lorenzo Capel, professor of the Telecommunications and Computer Systems cycle, now in full swing due to the deployment of 5G, sensorization and small and large home automation.
But, despite this dissonance, “the boys and girls (less, but growing) who enroll are happy. At the national level, electrical, electronic, industrial maintenance technicians are needed … Whoever finishes the cycle has a job, often with a company waiting for them“, explains Rubén Ayesa.
One of the most expensive VET and companies beyond Dual VET
Another problem that makes the current boom in electronics have to bypass its own circuits is the cost of much of your materialsespecially as technology advances.
“We have to go a bit leapfrogging, for example, to train our own teachers and then our students in aspects such as drone repair. To adapt to the deployment of 5G we resort to materials that companies sometimes give us, such as a fiber optic splicer, and other times the department can make a budgetary effort. But training in the technologies that are on the street requires an effort “, says Lorenzo, who to solve part of these problems launched a magazine on Electronic FP in which several teachers share small systems and experiments they have carried out with students.
The cost of each education robot arm can exceed 1,000 euros
From Logroño, Rubén Ayesa gives the point of view of automation. The school in which this hobbyist teaches, as well as a robotics trainer, is a private center that has more resources, but even so, “it is not cheap to teach how to handle robots.”
In its center it has several small fathoms of the Dobot signature, which on its website are sold from 1,000 euros. With them they carry out programming on, for example, how the arm would act in a scale warehouse. “The issue of training in robot programming is a business for the companies themselves. Kukka, for example -one of the big brands of industrial robots- makes a lot of money with their training, and that causes synergies to be created that make for default is not accessible. And then, logically, there is the fact that the robots themselves are expensive, “explains Ayesa.
The wishes of the new FP Law
For this reason, perhaps one of the most important requests that teachers make is that they encourage greater collaboration with the company, so that it can nurture materials, although it is not easy either. “In one cycle the student is trained in many ways, from system electronics to sensorization, home automation, networks … There are very few companies that touch such a wide spectrum, that’s why when people talk so much about Dual FP, in my opinion “You have to think about how to raise it. Surely with small stays by companies so that all aspects can be touched”, says Lorenzo.
The new VET Law promises to review all the curricula of the current degrees, but teachers also ask for internal training for them
The development of what will become the new VET Law also promises certain changes in this regard. To start with, with a complete review of many modules and cycles. “This sector is advancing at a speed that requires continuous training of teachers and changes in the curriculum from time to time. Right now, as trainers, we have to look for our lives a lot to learn new technologies that we then have to teach, and it depends a lot on the vocation of each one, “says Ayesa.
But, in addition, teachers also ask that there be more specialization for the student. “In particular I miss modules that address for example man-machine collaboration, co-bots and autonomous industrial vehicles, which is where the immediate future seems to be going at an industrial level, “Ayesa continues. we stick to the modules (the subjects), they wouldn’t go there “, says Lorenzo.
The new Law promises a greater deployment of specialization courses, small master’s degrees for FP that have already begun to be taught in some centers for now and that concern topics such as 5G and it is also expected that home automation and robotics in a specific way. Also, a greater connection with the company … “Perhaps it is necessary to break apart the family, which is large in itself, to seek specialization, and above all to focus on current needs”, says Lorenzo. “In the end, we have gone from generating electricians to professionals with much more specific skills, and this, although positive, requires a boost from everywhere,” concludes Ayesa.
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