IncuVET es un proyecto financiado por la Unión Europea que pretende apoyar y promover la función de los centros de FP como nodos de emprendimiento a nivel local y regional. Estamos convencidos de que más allá del tradicional apoyo a la creación de empresas, los centros de FP están en condiciones de liderar un proceso colaborativo de cambio en el que autoridades locales, empresas, personas emprendedoras, profesorado y estudiantes unan fuerzas para aprender unos de otros y conseguir una mejor integración del fomento del emprendimiento en la Formación Profesional generando un impacto positivo tanto en el centro como en el entorno local.
CAMBIAR MENTALIDADES El proyecto proporciona un lugar de encuentro donde profesorado, personas emprendedoras, empresas, estudiantes, autoridades locales y otras organizaciones participen en un proceso de descubrimiento y debate para crear una nueva visión sobre el papel que el emprendimiento debe jugar en la sociedad y en la educación.
DAR RIENDA SUELTA A NUEVAS IDEAS El proyecto se lleva a cabo con la intención de no dejar ni una sola idea en el tintero prestando especial atención a la creatividad y la sostenibilidad de las mismas. La conexión con el mundo real y la cooperación interdisciplinar e intersectorial serán condiciones indispensables para que estas ideas salgan a la superficie.
CREAR VALOR El proyecto pretende establecer y asegurar las condiciones para que alguna de estas ideas se conviertan en actos bien sea en forma de proyectos empresariales, productos y servicios innovadores, nuevas metodologías, iniciativas sociales, eventos culturales que añadan valor y contribuyan al desarrollo económico, social, cultural y medioambiental del entorno local.
El proyecto IncuVET aspira a lograr una mezcla equilibrada e integrada de estas tres áreas de intervención aprendiendo de iniciativas ya existentes a través de cuatro visitas de estudio en Finlandia, España, Grecia y Bélgica. El intercambio de ideas, experiencias y prácticas se producirá entre los socios del consorcio pero también a través de la colaboración con otras instituciones que contribuyan a seguir ampliando la base de conocimiento sobre el protagonismo de los centros de FP en el fomento de emprendimiento en Europa.
IncuVET está abierto a colaborar y contar con las aportaciones de todos los actores e instituciones implicadas en el desarrollo del emprendimiento en FP:
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Los sistemas de Formación Profesional en Europa son realmente diversos. No obstante, son muchos los centros de FP que tienen las mismas dificultades para asegurar a sus estudiantes una transición a la vida activa lo más segura posible. Mientras que en las instituciones de Educación Superior la integración de incubadoras de empresas es algo habitual, en los centros de FP aún queda mucho camino por recorrer si bien es cierto que muchos centros han logrado consolidar redes de cooperación con empresas locales a través de acciones como la formación en centros de trabajo lo que ha contribuido indudablemente a mejorar la percepción de la Formación Profesional.
La alta relevancia del currículo en los centros de FP los sitúan en una posición privilegiada para poner en práctica una agenda ambiciosa de educación para el emprendimiento. La mayoría de los países disponen de asignaturas específicas y de programas de mini-empresas, empresas simuladas y concursos más que consolidados. Este escenario favorable se ha visto enriquecido en los últimos años con la irrupción de una preocupación creciente sobre los aspectos pedagógicos que permiten abordar el emprendimiento en educación.
Por otro lado, la integración de incubadoras en centros de FP está dando resultados prometedores no sólo por el número de empresas creadas por estudiantes de FP sino por su alta tasa de supervivencia lo que hace necesario identificar los elementos esenciales de estos dispositivos de acompañamiento para lograr una mayor implantación.
Los centros de FP pueden potenciar aún más las aspiraciones emprendedoras de algunos de sus estudiantes transformándose en nodos regionales/locales de emprendimiento. Lejos de ser una vision utópica, poner este proceso en marcha requeriría reformular la misión del centro tomando como punto de partida las acciones de fomento de emprendimiento que ya se llevan a cabo. El proyecto IncuVET se construye en torno a la idea de mejorar nuestra comprensión del emprendimiento en educación a través de un enfoque de centro. En este sentido, IncuVET se proponen identificar los elementos básicos para configurar un sistema integral de apoyo al emprendimiento en un centro de FP tomando como referencia iniciativas existentes puestas en práctica tanto por socios del consorcio como por otras instituciones. El proyecto permitirá recopilar todas esas iniciativas que servirán para impulsar el debate y en último término estimular la adaptación por parte de los socios de alguno de esos ejemplos.
La principal herramienta de IncuVET es la realización de cuatro visitas de estudio temáticas que se llevarán a cabo en territorios que destacan en distintas facetas del fomento del emprendimiento en FP. Lee más sobre los talleres aquí
El proyecto incluye la celebración de 4 talleres temáticos/visitas de estudio que se desarrollarán en las instalaciones de las entidades socias.
Cada taller permitirá ir construyendo una visión compartida. Este proceso implica recopilar e incorporar la experiencia aportada por las organizaciones participantes con vistas a construir una visión compartida sobre el papel que deben desempeñar los centros de FP en el fomento de la cultura emprendedora. El conocimiento adquirido en cada taller será compartido con los miembros de la comunidad y con los grupos destinatarios a nivel local entre los que se incluyen los centros de FP y otros agentes sociales.
Este taller ampliará las perspectivas sobre el papel que profesorado y estudiantes deben desempeñar en el fomento de la cultura emprendedora. La empresa social Knowl nos ayudará a dirigir nuestra atención a iniciativas de formación del profesorado encaminadas al desarrollo personal y profesional desde una perspectiva emprendedora.
Por último, indagaremos en la importancia del trabajo en red a la hora de dar forma un ecosistema emprendedor en FP cuya calidad dependerá en gran medida del grado de colaboración entre autoridades educativas, centros de FP y empresas. La Formación en Centros de Trabajo es uno de los escenario clave donde esa colaboración resulta indispensable para desarrollar la competencia emprendedora de los estudiantes de FP en Flandes tal y como nos mostrará SYNTRA.
Last year in Riga, the Ministers in charge of vocational education and training agreed on a set of five medium-term deliverables that will inform the implementation of VET reforms for the period 2015-2020. Not surprisingly, stimulating entrepreneurship and innovation and strengthening entrepreneurship as a key competence will be pivotal in our efforts to increase the relevance, adaptability, quality and efficiency of VET systems and ultimately impact on enterprise performance, job creation and employability further down the line.
In fact entrepreneurship education is well under way in VET. Currently, it is mentioned as a cross-curricular objective in 15 European countries/regions for school-based IVET, and it is also commonly offered as a separate subject either compulsory for all students (9 countries) or optional (10 countries).
The embedment of entrepreneurship in VET schools is the result of a complex intertwining of national, regional, and local level strategies, action plans, curricula and other initiatives cutting across different policy areas (education, work, employment, innovation) and bringing in the perspectives of a broad constituency of stakeholders (educators, employers, policymakers). Arguably, that may partly explain why “the majority of countries/regions have not yet embedded entrepreneurship education in a truly systematic and comprehensive way”.
Although the examples identified here are far from comprehensive, INCUVET study visits have yielded an in-depth look at how policymaking is articulated and implemented in three specific locations.
Research indicates that teacher training in entrepreneurship seems to be the main factor determining the observable entrepreneurship education provided by the teachers. That same piece of research indicates that Finnish VET teachers are well ahead of their colleagues in other education levels when it comes to frequency in adopting entrepreneurship education practices such as business projects, company visits and joint projects. Whether this is the case in other European countries remains to be seen. In any case, there’s no shortage of CPD training opportunities for iVET teachers across Europe.
By the same token VET Schools can greatly enhance the enabling role of teachers in the design and implementation of entrepreneurship education. The Budapest Agenda urged schools to engage in partnerships, networking and good practice exchange with other schools at local, regional, national and EU level. This may involve EU-funded mobilities and study visits for students and teachers but also virtual methods of know-how exchange such as grassroots online teacher communities.
A clear example of this we could find could be the Open Education Europa portal, an initiative of the European Commission offering access to all existing European Open Educational Resources in different languages in order to be able to present them to learners, teachers and researchers.
Even before the broad definition of entrepreneurship education became common currency, start-up support had already been included in the portfolio of services of VET schools. Start-up support measures dovetail with existing curricular initiatives (eg. specific entrepreneurship subjects) in a somewhat coherent progression for those students and alumni willing to take the self-employment route. In line with other Youth entrepreneurship schemes, VET schools “offer all-round support throughout the different stages of the entrepreneurial process, from the conceptualisation of the business idea to the actual launch and development of the business”. This is achieved with a combination of entrepreneurship training, personalized advice, mentoring and coaching and access to office/workshop space.
Business advising role is becoming an integral part of the competence profile of VET Entrepreneurship teachers/Entrepreneurship coordinators. This requires reinforcing their confidence and updating knowledge through specific training.
Ideally CPD training should go hand in hand with reduced lesson time so that efforts can be geared towards supporting student entrepreneurs. Setting up partnerships with local business incubators, employers associations and other business support agencies do also represent complementary/alternative ways of enhancing the quality and efficiency of start-up support provided at VET Schools.
Interestingly some VET schools are going the extra-mile to position themselves as entrepreneurial hubs. Expertise and equipment is put at the disposal of local start-ups and SMEs with reduced R&D capabilities through partnership projects.
In spite of the sheer diversity of VET systems in Europe, there are some key characteristics that make VET schools a potential breeding ground for creativity, entrepreneurship and innovation: Learners have different educational, occupational and skills backgrounds, the learning is highly contextualized and related to the workplace, and there are some specific issues affecting the vocational pedagogy, teaching and assessment largely derived from the opportunities and limitations of the different models of work-based learning adopted:
In stark contrast to the prevailing simplistic view that start-up training is the only thing that matters in VET, lots of pedagogical experimentation and innovation is currently underway in the schools we’ve visited. The widespread use (and abuse) of business planning and mini-company schemes should not be allowed to obscure the fact that an ever-expanding repertoire of teaching and learning methods is slowly taking center stage: project-based work, practical challenges, community challenges as well as some trailblazing efforts to break down silos.
The adoption of whole-school approaches to entrepreneurship has been discussed at large in recent years. To put it succinctly, we reproduce here the statement found in the European Business Forum on Vocational Training 2014:
“If the entrepreneurial skills of the VET students’ needs to be improved, the whole education system should be much more focused on entrepreneurial attitudes. This does not only imply that local VET institutions put more emphasis on entrepreneurial learning. They also need to be more entrepreneurial themselves by collaborating with business and providing an entrepreneurial environment for staff and students with entrepreneurship permeating all learning activities.”(p.17)
The implications of such statement are manifold and ripple through the whole school structure, actors and actions. It entails creating school level plans (shared definition, goals and actions), appointing school entrepreneurship coordinators, training and supporting teachers, stimulating cooperation with local employers, drawing on the skills and talents of student and alumni, and stimulating networking, mobility and know-how exchange with other schools at local/regional/national and EU level.
Institutional change requires sound governance and leadership in order to create an inclusive vision and school policy that incorporates the views of a broad range of stakeholders while aligning existing and future provision. Yet, VET schools do not exist in a vacuum, and such a challenging transition could be largely facilitated by supportive policies as demonstrated in the following inspiring examples:
A hub is the central part of a wheel that connects the axle to the wheel itself. Many expressions use the term for a literal or figurative central structure connecting to a periphery. A VET School as an entrepreneurial hub that is not connected, that has no links with relevant stakeholders, doesn’t make any sense at all.
Connections with entrepreneurs are essential: they have experience and knowledge that they can share, and they can motivate young people. Building a network with the (local) business community is thus an import step for VET-Schools in becoming an entrepreneurial hub. Involvement of employer’s organisations is recommended.
The positive effects of business-VET collaboration in the development of entrepreneurial competences are emphasized by representatives of big enterprises, SME organisations, social partners, sector organisations, chambers of commerce and VET providers alike.
In VET there’s a whole range of different ways that employers can support the learning and progression of students via apprenticeships, mentoring schemes, company visits, job shadowing and other partnership projects. Enhanced motivation, improved attainment and increased employability are often cited among the typical benefits of employer engagement in education although “there is a particular shortage of studies of employers’ links with education that have used robust research designs”. Further research is also needed to gauge its specific impact in the development of entrepreneurial attitudes, skills and/or intentions.
Not all entrepreneurs are working in the business community: a lot of entrepreneurial activities are going on in the not-for-profit sector (arts, culture, health care, …). It is highly recommended that young people can have a taste of the broad scope of entrepreneurial activities. Contacts with the not-for-profit sector are an asset!
It is essential to devise sound and flexible mechanisms of cooperation In order to make these benefits and opportunities visible and appealing for employers while taking the administrative burden off their shoulders. On the other hand, impact will be maximized if teachers and employers co-design and co-evaluate interventions with a shared vision on the (entrepreneurial) learning outcomes to be attained. This is particularly relevant in apprenticeships and other types of work placements where putting the focus on entrepreneurial skills may require specific training for company supervisors.
A partnership with local government can add support, not only in terms of money but also in other terms like networking or promotion of the activities of Entrepreneurial VET Schools.
Assessing the impact of whole-school approaches to entrepreneurship requires determining a point of reference. Establishing a baseline against which we can measure progress is definitely a must and the good news is that we have some tools at our disposal enabling a multi-dimensional self-assessment of entrepreneurship education at our VET institution. https://heinnovate.eu/
The establishment of a shared set of long-term goals (eg. intended entrepreneurial learning outcomes) and the creation of models that outline causal linkages and progression between short-term, intermediate and longer term learning outcomes is a clearly underdeveloped area. Ideally this process should precede and inform the decisions made on forms of intervention to achieve those outcomes. Some promising assessment tools combining self, peer and teacher perceptions have been developed although seemingly detached from a clear progression model.
Last but not least, the evaluation of start-up support in VET schools resonates with concerns voiced for other Youth Entrepreneurship schemes regarding the need to move from monitoring-type exercises to more experimental evaluations undertaken by independent researchers in order to assess long-term impact based on a set of quantitative and qualitative indicators previously defined.
Bridging the gap between policy, practice and research entails identifying appropriate knowledge brokers and the most suitable scenarios to share evidence and carry out joint-research projects across the board. This must be much of a burden to individual schools unless they join forces with brokering organisations, research institutions and educational authorities.
Have fun while teaching entrepreneurship in VET! Have a look at the interactive comic e-book developed by an EU project and selected as good practice under the Lifelong Learning Programme 2007-2013.. More here
Developing and promoting entrepreneurship education has been one of the key EU policy objectives. Indeed, in the context of high youth unemployment, economic crises and rapid changes related to our complex knowledge-based economy and society, transversal skills such as entrepreneurship are essential not only to shape the mindsets of young people, but also to provide the skills, knowledge and attitudes that are central to developing an entrepreneurial culture in Europe. However, although some countries have already been committed to fostering entrepreneurship education for more than a decade, others are just starting. Following the 2012 Eurydice report on entrepreneurship education, this new analysis captures the latest developments in Europe, focusing on primary education, lower and general upper secondary education as well as school-based initial vocational education and training. More here
New innovations are necessary to ensure and enforce entrepreneurship skill development and working-life-centricity in vocational education. We present an example from Finland. InnoOmnia is a multi-actor knowledge community within a VET organisation. It brings together students, entrepreneurs, and teachers in a non-formal setting where traditional roles are revamped. A number of traditional silos have been broken in order to build a co-learning innovation environment. The transition is not painless, however. Using a large dataset of text and visual content, we identify tensions relating to the transition. The tensions fall under the themes of community borders, operational culture, structures and leadership. InnoOmnia is not perceived as one community. Rather, every participant seems to have his or her own representation of it. Based on these differences, conflicts arise. Our research indicates that an innovative, entrepreneurial community inevitably contains destructive and conflicting forces as well. A key force counterbalancing the tensions is enthusiasm. More here
The global crisis has increased unemployment in the EU to unprecedented levels, yet many employers claim they have difficulties finding skilled workers to fill their vacancies. This report shows that most vacancy bottlenecks arise because of factors other than general skill deficits, including job offers of poor quality. Genuine skill shortages affect a small group of dynamic, internationally oriented European enterprises in specific economic sectors (health and social care, ICT, advanced manufacturing). To mitigate skill bottlenecks, European companies must commit to offering high-quality apprenticeship places and good-quality jobs, which can be supported as part of a process of social dialogue between VET providers and labour market actors. Ultimately, the business and product market strategies of a greater share of European firms will have to become reliant on higher skill needs. The role of VET in developing creativity and entrepreneurial capacity in the European workforce will be crucial. More here
Recent research has highlighted the importance of entrepreneurship skills to small business performance. Although there are quite extensive literatures dealing with management and leadership skills more generally, relatively little is known about these particular skill-sets. This project sought to source the key components of ‘entrepreneurship skills’, to identify how they can and cannot be developed, and to draw out possible lessons for UK policy. The review finds that entrepreneurship skills are associated with competence in the process of opportunity identification (and/or creation), the ability to capitalise on identified opportunities and a range of skills associated with developing and implementing business plans to enable such opportunities to be realised. This definition is distinct from, but closely related to, accepted definitions of management and leadership skills. There is evidence that some entrepreneurship skills can be taught and/or learned. However entrepreneurs tend to learn less effectively from the conventional didactic approaches typical of much of the educational sector. The most effective approaches to developing entrepreneurship skills involve experiential learning based around task-oriented development focused on real business problems. More here
Young people have never left education more highly qualified and with more years of schooling to their names and yet face record levels of unemployment, too often losing out to older workers in the competition for employment. This new report features interviews with eight leading commentators on the relationship between education and employment. The interviews highlight ways in which the labour market has become more hostile to young people over the last generation. Three key themes emerge: the labour market is more complex and opaque than in the last increasing the significance of careers education especially where it is rich in direct workplace contacts; school to work transitions have become more fractured than in the past demanding new recruitment skills and resiliency from young people; and, employers offering jobs with greatest prospects have changed requirements, expecting young people to be personally effective in applying knowledge in unfamiliar situations demanding that schools place greater emphasis on applied learning and enterprise education.[...]. More here
On September 2014, 345 participants from the worlds of business, policy, education and training met in Brussels to take part in the second Business Forum on Vocational Training. The overarching theme for the Forum was “Business & VET - Partners for Growth and Competitiveness”. The Forum included three targeted workshop sessions and two panel debates. The titles of the workshops, which followed the topics of the Forum, were: Workshop 1 - Meeting skills needs in key sectors // Workshop 2 - Working together on entrepreneurial skills // Workshop 3 - Developing apprenticeships in companies. More here
The survey analysis summarises the findings of 91 interviews conducted among large European enterprises, vocational education and training (VET) providers, social partners and sector organisations on challenges and practices related to business-VET collaboration focusing on three main topics: meeting skill needs in sectors of key strategic importance to the EU; business-VET cooperation on entrepreneurial skills; and developing high-quality apprenticeships. The survey was part of the preparation for the second European Business Forum on Vocational Training to hold in Brussels on 23-24 September 2014 under the heading “Business & VET - Partners for Growth and Competitiveness”. The Forum is a high-level event that takes place every two years with participation of all relevant stakeholders from different levels (EU, national, regional, etc.), such as policy makers, companies, SMEs, social partners, VET providers, teachers and trainers, entrepreneurs, guidance practitioners, human resources experts as well as youth and student organisations. More here
This report aims to provide a critical review of research and public policy literature concerned with the characteristics of engagement between employers and schools, focusing on school provision for the age group11-18: it does not examine provision in Further Education Colleges or Apprenticeships. More here
Join us from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm at the premises of project partner European Vocational Training Association (EVTA), Rue de la Loi 93-97, 1040
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