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2. State incentives for training and employment

2.1 Training incentives

Law 30/2015, of September 9, 2015, regulating the Vocational Training for Employment System in the area of employment, regulates the training incentives system currently in force, with the following main goals: (i) to guarantee that workers, employees and unemployed workers, in particular the most vulnerable, can exercise their right to training; (ii) to contribute effectively to the competitiveness of Spanish companies; (iii) to increase collective negotiation aimed at bringing the offer of training initiatives into line with the demands of the productive system; and (iv) to offer efficiency and transparency in public resources management.

The vocational training for employment system is aimed at companies and workers anywhere in Spanish territory. It is an initiative based on coordination, collaboration and cooperation between the Central Government, the autonomous communities, leading business associations and trade union organizations, and other agents, and it aims to guarantee the unity of the market and ensure that a strategic approach is adopted in relation to training, while at the same time respecting, naturally, the existing distribution of powers in this respect.

Such system is to be financed by the vocational training for employment contributions paid by companies and workers in accordance with the provisions of the annual General State Budget Laws, by the contributions included in the budget of the State Public Employment Service, and by whatever own funds the Autonomous Communities may decide to allocate to it within the framework of their own budgets.

According to the definition provided in Law 30/2015, a training initiative refers to any of the forms of training for employment which are intended to provide an immediate response to the different individual needs and needs of the productive system, and such initiatives should be geared, specifically, towards promoting the acquisition, improvement and ongoing updating of vocational skills and qualifications, favoring training throughout the entire working life of the active population, conjugating the needs of people, of enterprises, of territories and of productive sectors.

Based on this premise, the training initiatives considered eligible for financing within the framework of the vocational training for employment system currently in force must conform to any of the following four types (which are regulated in detail in Royal Decree 694/2017 of July 3, 2017 containing the implementing regulations for Law 30/2015):

  • Programmed training offered by employers to their workers: Training initiatives that seek to respond to the real, immediate and specific training needs of employers and their workers, able to be carried out directly by employers or entrusted to an external agency accredited and/or registered at the appropriate registry.
  • Training offered by the relevant authorities to employed workers: Aimed at fulfilling needs not covered by the programmed training offered by employers to their workers. These training initiatives are targeted at employed workers and take the following into consideration: (i) a company’s productivity and competitiveness requirements; (ii) the need to adapt to changes at the workplace, and (iii) workers’ aspirations for professional promotion and personal development.
  • Training offered by the relevant authorities to unemployed workers: Training initiatives for unemployed workers in line with individual training needs and with the needs of the production system, aimed at enabling workers to acquire the skills which are required by the job market, thus improving their employability.
  • Other vocational training initiatives (including, inter alia, individual leaves of absence for training and work-linked training): Training initiatives aimed at favoring a worker’s professional and personal development, while responding to the needs of the labor market.

With respect to programmed training offered by employers to their workers and individual leaves of absence from work, employers are eligible - for the financing of the costs generated - for a so-called "training credit", of which they may avail themselves through reductions to the corresponding employer social security contributions, applicable in line with the communication by the employer of the completion of the training initiatives provided.

The amount of this training credit will depend on the amount of the vocational training contributions paid in by each company in the previous year, and on the percentage stipulated annually in the General State Budgets Law*, depending on the size of the company, with the guarantee of a minimum training credit linked to the number of employees a company’s workforce, which can be higher than the vocational training contributions paid by the company into the social security system. Companies shall contribute with their own resources to the financing of their workers’ training with a variable percentage of 5% (for companies with between 6 and 9 employees), 10% (10 to 49 employees), 20% (50 to 249 employees) or up to 40% (250 or more employees).

Finally, it should be noted that the amount of the credit, and therefore the reduction which companies can apply to their contributions, varies according to the type of training provided:

 Features of the aidAmount (Additional Provision 124 LGPE 2021) *
Own training programsReductions in employer social security contributions so that the worker can take part in programs aimed at improving his qualifications.The result of applying the following percentages, according to number of workers, to the amount paid in the preceding year as employer contributions to vocational training: 100% (between 6 and 9), 75% (between 10 and 49), 60% (between 50 and 249) and 50% (more than 250).

For companies with between 1 and 5 workers and for newly formed companies or companies opening new workplaces with new workers, reductions of €420 are established for the first case and of €65 for the second, applied to the number of new workers.
Individual leaves of absence for workersReductions in employer social security contributions for companies granting individual leaves of absence for training to their workers.Equal to the salary costs of the leaves of absence granted, for the amount that results from applying the criteria determined by regulations Ministerial Order (TAS/2307/2007)*, according to size of company. As an example, for 2020 the limits will be between the amount equal to the costs of 200 hours, for companies with between 1 and 9 workers, and the amount equal to the costs of 800 hours, for companies with between 250 and 499 workers, increased by another 200 hours for each 500 workers more on the workforce.

During 2021, total credits granted under this section may not exceed 5% of the Public State Employment Service budget for the financing of reductions in employer social security contributions for vocational training for employment.
  1. According to information obtained from the authorities, until new limits are approved by Ministerial Order, those that are currently in force will continue to be applied, in this case those of Ministerial Order TAS/2307/2007.

It should be noted that the Spanish State Public Employment Service, by means of its Decision of April 15, 2020, established, within its scope of management, extraordinary measures to confront the impact of COVID-19 on vocational training for jobs, which have been extended in 2021 by the subsequent Decision of December 18, 2020.

These measures include most notably those relating to the possibility of conducting training entirely through a “virtual classroom” and through a “bimodal” system (which enables the teacher to give the training in person to some of the students while others attend virtually) and to training actions that are financed in the training initiative programmed by companies, with a charge to the loan available for fiscal year 2021, where they are conducted in the in-person mode or the in-person portion of the hybrid or tele-training mode.

On the other hand, so that public commitments in this respect can be met and training initiatives aimed at both active and unemployed workers can be carried into effect, Law 30/2015 establishes a system of public subsidies, awarded through a competitive process, in which all training entities which meet the requirements in terms of accreditation and/or registration stipulated in the applicable legislation can take part. In the case of training programs entailing a hiring commitment, the process is open to companies and entities which undertake to formalize the corresponding contracts in the terms stipulated in the pertinent regulations.

The specific conditions to be met to be eligible for such subsidies are established by the Ministry of Employment and Social Economy in the corresponding Order.

Order TMS/368/2019, of March 28, 2019, linked to Royal Decree 694/2017 of July 3, 2017, which in turn implemented Law 30/2015 of September 9, 2015 regulating the Vocational Training for Employment System, currently applies to the training initiatives offered by the relevant authorities and their financing, and establishes the regulatory specifications for the grant of public subsidies to be used for said financing.

Pursuant to Order TMS/368/2019, the above-mentioned training initiatives for employed workers must be implemented through (i) industry-wide training programs; (ii) transversal training programs; and (iii) professional qualification and recognition programs.

In addition, in the case of unemployed workers, the training initiatives are to be implemented through (i) training programs offered by the public employment services, aimed at meeting the training needs detected in personalized insertion itineraries and in job offers; (ii) specific training programs targeted at unemployed workers with special training needs or difficulties for their insertion or professional requalification; and (iii) training programs including commitments to hire.

The regulations of Order TMS/368/2019 exclude, inter alia, training programmed offered by companies to their own workers and individual training leave, which will be regulated and financed pursuant to Law 30/2015, and to Royal Decree 694/2017, mentioned above.

The maximum and minimum limits for each specialization included in the Catalog of Training Specializations will be set by regulation and will include the possibility of adjusting the specific units established by the relevant authorities for their management area*. Meanwhile, however, the following could be considered the maximum general economic units, as set forth in Schedule I of the Order may be consedered:

Mode of teachingAmount of the maximum economic units
In-person€13
Teletraining€7.5
HybridThe above units will be applied according to the hours of in-person training or teletraining that take place in the training initiative.
  1. The public authorities may increase these amounts by up to 50%, depending on the singular nature of certain training initiatives which, given their specialization and technical characteristics, require greater financing.

Lastly, training initiatives not related to professionality certificates, targeted at unemployed workers, may include the performance of unpaid work experience at companies, linked to the training initiatives and related to their training content, subject to the execution of an agreement between the company and the training entity. In this context, companies can receive, as a direct concession, additional economic compensation per student per training hour, with a maximum amount of €6.00.