Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Relationships between vocational training centres and industrial SMEs in the Basque Country: a regional innovation system approach

Eneka Albizu, Mikel Olazarán, Cristina Lavía Martínez, Beatriz Otero

Resum


Purpose: The aim of this document is to analyse the reach of the relation between vocational training (VT) centres and industrial SMEs in the Basque Country (Spain), and its influence on innovation processes developed by companies.

Design/methodology/approach: We employ the conceptual framework offered by the Regional Innovation System (RIS) perspective and the information supplied, on the one hand, by relevant actors within the vocational training system, through in-depth interviews, and, on the other, by the response of industrial SMEs to a survey.

Findings: The results obtained suggest that vocational training centres are an agent of significance within the RIS, contributing through its main lines of action (formal education, continuous training and company services) to improving the competitiveness of companies and to stimulating their innovation processes.

Research limitations: Although this paper has described the nature of the main mechanisms of relation between VT centres and industrial SMEs, there is a need for ongoing research to analyse the contribution of the educational system to innovation processes in industrial SMEs. For this purpose it would be interesting to measure how the skills of qualified workers and technicians coming from the VT system mesh with company innovation processes.

Originality/value: The results of this study highlight a positive relationship between vocational training and innovation.

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