Since 2008 Europe has been suffering the effects of the most severe economic crisis it has seen in 50 years: in Europe unemployment reached 24,6 million people, 5 million are aged between 15-24 (Annual Growth survey (AGS) 2015). To bring Europe back to growth and higher levels of employment, Europe needs more entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship is a powerful driver of economic growth and job creation.However, a couple of years ago for 45% of Europeans self-employment was their first choice, now this percentage is down to 37%.Education has a key role to play to ensure the responsiveness of skills to labour market signals.Therefore, professional orientation should be one of the major goals of secondary education, not only of vocational schools.But there is an enormous lack of professional orientation in secondary schools.In fact, we have short periods of work experience (for example in year 9/10), but students often complain that they don't feel well prepared for the professional world: They don't know enough about the requiries of their futur profession and they doubt if they are able to meet these requiries.This leads to a high drop-pout rate of students in university and apprenticeships.By a better entrpreneurial education embedded in school we want to prepare young people to make a more solid and profound decision concerning their future profession.Secondly, employers often complain that students don't dispose of those skills necessary for the business world.
These transversal skills are for instance:
- Professional skills: customer-orientated approach, business expertise, organization, project management,entrepreneurial thinking and doing
- Methodical skills: efficient problem-solving, management/controlling/analyzing of processes , techniques of presentation
- Personal skills: self-motivation in the fields of enduring criticism, learning and high-quality performance and conflicts, independence and autonomous acting, generate responsible and creative productions
- Social skills: cooperation/team spirit, creativity, decision-making ability, acceptance of responsibility, work in collaborative activities
- ICT skills: access, search, select and process digital information using different techniques and strategies, use different web tools
- Language skills: acquiring a technical vocabulary in the field of tourism, confident use of foreign languages
A serious problem is the missing link between topics dealt in school and those required in the modern working world. It is undeniable that the success of classroom learning strongly depends on the connection of theoretical and practical learning. We need to provide in a more structural way an environment based on "learning by doing" in order to support the transition from school to work for young people. Up to now learning in school is mainly guided and dominated by teachers and doesn't encourage students to be an active part of learning processes.Therefore we intend the embedding of professionally relevant learning in our curricula. International studies prove that an apprioriate way to promote entrepreneurship is the implementation of entrepreunarial ideas in school life. The students of our five partner schools will act in a "Tourism advertising agency" in order to promote their own area and the areas of their partners after an exploration. They will create a "Tourism 4 you"-guide, destinated to young Europeans. Thus, they develop the very important transversal skills, digital, entrepreneurial and languages skills. This guide is not an ordinary guide: it is available via a mobile app and a website and focus on the social dimension of entrepreneurship:There is no doubt that nowadays the success of enterprises depends on their social commitment and the acceptance of responsability towards environmental and social issues ("Corporate Citizenship"/ Corporate Social Responsibiliy"-CSR).
Some of our partner schools deal especially with environmental issues: Students enlarge their horizon concerning ecological topics in natural sciences. But we need to point out a field where students can apply practically what they learnt theoretically by combining entrepreneurship with social and environmental commitment. By creating services for young people related to the "green" sector" (social and environmental issues) we promote active citizenship and we empower young people to play an active role in answering the world's social, economic and ecological problems of today and tomorrow.
By developing transversal skills we will develop basic skills, especially the skills required in MINT- subjects, like mathematics and natural sciences, and literacy.In our partner schools we notice the need to strengthen these subjects and to encourage our students to chose these fields in their professional career in the future. There is a growing demand which actually can't be meet. Our project contributes to change this.