National qualification profiles for painters
Country profile

VET for Painter in Spain

The lack of a specific and formal training for painters has caused some problems to the Spanish painting trade. Training is normally obtained on-the-job or through individual initiatives.

In the last decade, the building and construction sector of Spain has been the most active one in Europe. As a consequence of this, a large number of new painting enterprises were created, and many of them focused especially on basic painting work in new building. This, in turn, resulted in that training in high decoration techniques or specialities became less intensive, being it difficult to promote development of a formal training plan or qualifications (VET) for painters. In the last few years this tendency has reversed, and new actions are being taken with promising results.

Just recently, 2 specific qualifications for painters have been proposed for approval by the Spanish Department of Education. Both of them are included in the professional family of Edificación y Obra Civil (Construction and Building), and are:

  • Pintura Decorativa en Construcción (Decorative Painting in Building), and
  • Pintura Industrial en Construcción (Industrial Painting in Building)

It is foreseen that in the course of 2010 they will be approved and that development of VET courses will be initiated. This training will correspond with the Intermediate Level of Spanish VET, of 630 learning hours each, that is, 5 terms to 2 school years, Level 1 and 2. It will be possible to obtain both qualifications, as they only differ in 2 modules (300 hours in total), the rest are common/core modules. In this case the total learning hours are 930, obtaining both qualifications.

Work practice in enterprises is foreseen and agreed, although in this stage of the process this aspect is yet to be defined in detail.

(Click on this link to a diagram of the general Spanish Educational System for an overview. The green marked box corresponds to vocational training mentioned above. Below follows the detailed contents of these 2 qualifications.)

Another problem is the lack of enough students, due to the difficulty of finding young people willing to learn the profession and trainees in general, because there is a widespread tendency towards considering the profession as unattractive.

In spite of this, the actual qualification level of professional Spanish painters is comparable to that of many other European countries, mainly due to on-the-job training, and also individual initiatives, for example training centres promoted through local entities like city councils or some of the Spanish autonomous regions, with courses of painting specialities.