The People Area at CIC energiGUNE has its own work method with students that benefits the creation of a “gateway” between the studies and the workplace, this consists of the generation of specific “projects” created by the researchers in order for the internship students to verify the direct and real necessities that they may have in a particular field of activity.

CIC energiGUNE, the Basque research center of reference in battery storage, thermal energy solutions, and hydrogen, and member of the Basque Research & Technology Alliance-BRTA, has presented in the Forum FP/Parke 2021, that this year has been celebrated virtually and with the participation of a thousand of students, its strategic focus as a “bridge” between the academic work and the workplace. The event has been opened by the Minister of Economic Development, Sustainability and Environment of the Basque Government, Arantxa Tapia, and has included an online roundtable with companies that are representative of the three Technological Parks of the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country.

“The integration of the student body into the Vocational Training is very interesting for any Research Center because its technical abilities and its practical training perfectly complement the rest of the professional profiles”, has highlighted Asier Urzelai, the Manager of People area at CIC energiGUNE, who has taken advantage of the presentation to encourage the students –and especially girls- “to make science and technology”.

“We are very conscious of the fact that the basis for the research ecosystem in a medium and long term elucidates in these stages, and for that reason we think its is very relevant to count with integration programs that go beyond the simple internships”, has assured Urcelai in answer to the doubts and questions expressed by the students of Vocational Training during the live event.

In this sense, CIC energiGUNE has developed its own program relating the academic fields and work fields destined to facilitate to the students the exact knowledge of what they may encounter and what may be expected of them from the professional point of view. “Our research team prepares specific projects for students, in this way the students can develop their abilities from a perspective that is totally glued to the reality of the workplace and can directly verify the necessities that are demanded in its field of activity”, has pointed out Mercedes Ellacuría from the People Area.

The initiative consists of the active tutoring of each student by a professional from the center. For this matter, some concrete tasks are defined and a continuous monitoring is done, as well as a final assessment. “The process of incorporation of the students runs on the basis of our team of researchers, who define projects of interest for CIC energiGUNE as well as the student body”, they assure from the People Area. “These projects are analyzed from a global and strategic perspective and they work on searching interested people through the academic centers, with which we maintain a close relationship”.

The experience developed up until now demonstrates that a shared interest exists by both the academic centers and CIC energiGUNE. For the educational entities it is a way of offering their student body an experience that is very close to the professional world, through formulas such as FCT (Training at Workplaces) or the Dual Training. For CIC energiGUNE it is a way of attracting talent and promoting a training based on the real necessities of the society, accessible to Vocational Training, university degree or masters profiles.

In the specific case of Vocational Training, the formative cycles that are closest to the activity in the center are those of “Laboratory Operations”, “Analysis and Quality Control Laboratory” and “Energetic Efficiency and Thermal Solar Energy”, even though there is room for people who come from modules of micro-IT or even electronic maintenance, among others.

The focus for this method of relationship started practically with the birth of CIC energiGUNE, “even though it has been in these few last years when we have decisively moved closer to Vocational Training”, they assure. “Activities like this forum, and the experience maintained with the student body itself, have been sufficient to convince us that the Vocational Training students count with a quality of knowledge and an orientation toward practical execution that complement really well our scientific capacities”. In fact, some of them have been hired after finishing their internships and are currently part of the center’s workforce.

Finally, from the perspective of the researchers, all of them highlighter “the rewarding it is to count with students that work side by side with them since, on the one hand, they are a fundamental support with their work and, on the other hand, they manage to awaken the students’ interest for research, which is very satisfactory”.

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