During Vocational Skills Week, making assessment a focus to bring VET forward!

Vocational Skills Week is coming up and the best of it is… there is some fantastic entrepreneurship education happening across Europe!

Montenegro sees the National Partnership for Entrepreneurial Learning Conference, bringing together those involved in inspiring and supporting the pathway for youth entrepreneurship, from primary level through to VET, as a key transition between college
and work. In a country which won the 2016 EuroSkills gold medal for entrepreneurship, they will share fantastic practice on equipping young people with the entrepreneurial skills they need to lead communities, run social enterprises, create businesses and even be civil servants! In Tallinn, the European Parents Association will be connecting home school cooperation, career guidance and the development of entrepreneurial skills, while young people in Sinsheim in Germany will tackle real-world business challenges in a Global Enterprise Challenge.

Entrepreneurial learning in VET is about young people developing the skills that employers are asking for – the initiative, creativity and problem-solving skills best developed through learning by doing. Isn’t it just about start up I heard you say? Not at all! These days it is so much more. Building entrepreneurial skills and mindset happens in many ways, from citizenship education to community history projects to embedding language learning into practical projects. This is more about student-led learning with teacher as guide – exploring practical solutions to a challenge and choosing the best one to transform into
entrepreneurial action.

But recognising these skills is a big challenge – so many qualifications do not and cannot because they are written exams.

But recognising these skills is a big challenge – so many qualifications do not and cannot because they are written exams. Imagine a world where a film of your learning experience or an augmented reality journey for your teacher was the assessed assignment. That would show initiative and creativity, and how teams resolved battles while working together! But to assess the skills we need to evidence how they develop. Sweden leads the way here. As all teaching practice must be evidence-based, they recently funded teachers to act as action researchers in a pilot of the LoopMe edtech tool using innovative app-based teacher-student communication loops to identify exactly when, why and how students and apprentices are developing entrepreneurial competences.

VET Skills Week is about celebrating the breadth and depth of VET learning. Let’s use the week to also make it more entrepreneurial!

Elin McCallum, Co-Founder Bantani Education and Advisor to the Montenegro National Partnership for Entrepreneurial Learning

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