Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, Felipe VI and Sergio Mattarellacha on Wednesday at the Malaga Diputación provincial authority building. / ÑITO SALAS

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, Felipe VI and Sergio Mattarellacha on Wednesday at the Malaga Diputación provincial authority building. / ÑITO SALAS

King calls for more workplace training at high-profile innovation forum in Malaga

Felipe VI was closing the 14th Cotec summit where the presidents of both Italy and Portugal were also in attendance

A. M. ROMERO / J. HINOJOSA MALAGA.

King Felipe was in Malaga this week to attend a summit of a high-profile body which draws on the support of the heads of state of Spain, Italy and Portugal to promote technological innovation.

In his speech on Wednesday, the King showed his concern for the gap in digital knowledge of many of the population.

A survey for Fundación Cotec, the organisers of the event, had shown that 40 per cent of the working-age population didn't feel sufficiently equipped to develop professionally in the new digital age.

The King said that professional training and retraining as a person's career develops was a "a right and the responsibility of everyone". He added that "training had to be incentivised by educational establishments and supported and facilitated in every job".

King Felipe was closing the 14th Cotec Europa summit that was held in the headquarters of the Malaga provincial authority under the banner of The Transition to the Intangible Economy in Europe.

Two other heads of state were in attendance - President of Italy Sergio Mattarella and President of Portugal Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa - as well as politicians and officials from the three countries involved.

Robots and algorithms

Felipe VI said that the growing importance of robots and algorithms to carry out tasks that where, until not too long ago, carried out by workers, "should encourage us to revise and reinforce those talents directly linked to humans; empathy, creativity, capacity for improvisation, leadership, as well as to understand how human factors and psychological and sociological traits condition the way we make decisions in all walks of life". He went on to defend training, research and innovation as "fundamental".

Fundación Cotec was set up in 1990 on the initiative of Spain's King Juan Carlos I and since 2005 the heads of state of Spain, Italy and Portugal have taken part in the summits which are held on a rotating basis in each of the three countries.

salvador salas

The Italian president also paid a visit to Malaga Cathedral ahead of the meeting and was shown around by church officials. "It has a splendid, sublime architecture - it is an unmissable place when visiting the city," he said.

A dinner was held at the city's Hotel Miramar in the evening.

This was the fifth visit of Felipe VI to Malaga, since he took over as head of state in 2019. The last time was in 2018 when he also came with Queen Letizia.