Innovative Practice 2017 on Employment, Work and Vocational Education and Training

Adding a university degree to job placement

TEMPE, a shoe manufacturer from Elche, and APSA (Asociación de Discapacitados Psíquicos de Alicante), a local service provider for young people with intellectual disabilities, have been cooperating for a long time in VET, integrating APSA clients in the TEMPE production facilities. Now Miguel Hernandez University in Elche has joined the partnership, providing young people who finish their coursework with a university degree. This combination of theoretical and practical education has significantly increased the opportunities of these young people to find employment in the open labour market, and 15 of them have received a university degree at the end of their coursework in 2016.

“This programme is going to provide me knowledge on how to be a good shop assistant, and I will be able to work and be more autonomous.”

About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:Adding a university degree to job placement
Organisation:Cooperation of TEMPE, APSA, and the University Miguel Hernandez in Elche
of Implementation


    • 3 jobs were created in 2015 and 4 in 2016 (with open-ended contracts in the open labour market)
    • There were 8 beneficiaries in 2014; 8 in 2015; and 15 in 2016


There are very limited opportunities for young people with intellectual disabilities to receive an adequate education and focused preparation to enter the Spanish job market. Most job offers are for manual labour, and do not provide an opportunity to advance to a higher career position.


For many years the company TEMPE, which is active in the shoe and fashion business, has run a dedicated training programme for people with intellectual disabilities, in cooperation with the service provider APSA. Beginning in 2015, these two organizations have entered a collaboration with Miguel Hernandez University, which currently offers theoretical and practical courses for 15 students with intellectual disabilities each year. The possibility of a university degree combined with the use of university services and infrastructure has elevated people with intellectual disabilities to a new level and has significantly promoted their integration into the open labour market. Following graduation, alumni will find employment primarily in the shoe and fashion industry.
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Prior to their cooperation with the university, TEMPE and APSA trained 24 people with intellectual disabilities. Seven of these have found employment: three in the open labour market and four in a protected environment. Both companies expect that with the university collaboration, employment figures will increase substantially, since the preparation is focused on the needs of the potential employers.


The overall costs for academic year 2015-2016 are €32.000. TEMPE covers approximately 55 per cent of the cost of the programme, and 45 per cent is covered by the graduates themselves, although 4 of them have partial or total scholarships.
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