Gecko receives funding to implement project that supports the development of key competences (digital skills, intitiative and entrepreneurship and creativity) in adult learners: the YouBrand Project
Funder: European Commission, Erasmus+ Programme, Key action 2 Adult Education
Project number: 2017-1-PL01-KA204-038849
Implementation timeline: 01 Dec 2017 - 30 Nov 2019
Project coordinator: Centrum Ksztalcenia Ustawicznego nr 2 w Lublinie, Poland
Project partners: AGENFAP Società cooperativa (IT), INERCIA DIGITAL SL (ES), GECKO PROGRAMMES LIMITED (UK), HELLENIC OPEN UNIVERSITY (GR)
Project website: http://www.youbrand.cku2.pl/
Since 2016 entrepreneurship has been defined as one of the 8 key competences by the EP (18.12.2006) in the lifelong learning process. School education faced a lot of pression and changes in terms of teaching entrepreneurship programmes within a basic education context. All national activities were mainly focused on the development of suitable training material, supporting tools for teachers in secondary, high VET schools as well as universities. A lot of activities were preformed at national and international level (also in EU projects) - such as online games, online training programmes etc. to enhance the entrepreneurial spirit of youngsters.
What is missing now is new educational approach to adults and their entrepreneurship skills.
Adult learners are often unemployed, part of groups at risk of social exclusion, and are lacking the skills required to live in a digital era. Even if they are ready to run their own bussiness they do not have as good ICT and social skills as the younger EU citizens.
The YouBrand project will support the above-mentioned priorities by:
- defining and testing an innovative training model/curriculum for the development of disadvantaged adults (unenployed, NEETs, at risk of social exclusion) in the following key competences: initiative and entrepreneurship, digital skills and creativity;
- defining and testing a train-the-trainer path aimed at introducing an innovative digital and web-based training model for the support of aspiring entrepreneurs in their start-up path;
- designing and implementing an online community for trainers aimed at sharing and implementing resources and information.
The YouBrand project directly responds to EU policy documents and programmes fostering:
- entrepreneurship and start-up as means to reduce unemployment and increase EU competitiveness;
- the improvement of entrepreneurial education;
- the development of ICT competences.
Start-up businesses and SMEs (EC on Eurostat data '14) are the main source of employment. The Entrepreneurship Action Plan 2020 underlines that in order to foster economic growth, employment and competitiveness in Europe there is a need for "more entrepreneurs and start-ups". The Council invites the Member States to "provide more services to support business start-up and promote the opportunities and perspectives of self-employment".
The Action Plan 2020 and the Small Business Act strongly focus on the need to promote the entrepreneurial spirit and the business culture, supporting the business creation training and raising new generations of entrepreneurs. The Council suggests that the Member States should "encourage schools, VET providers and employment services to actively promote entrepreneurship providing guidance, support on entrepreneurship and self-employment also through entrepreneurship training courses".
The Eurydice survery (2014) "Entrepreneurial education" highlighted the following gaps in terms of competences, skills and knowledge: communication, presentation, planning, definition and creation of a business plan and idea.
In 2013, European Commission (EC) Memo stated that 'Entrepreneurship education needs to be boosted'. The communication then comments that, 'Investing in education for entrepreneurship is one of the highest return investments policy-makers in Europe can make to support economic growth and business creation'.
Quoting again from the EC, education should be brought to life through practical experiential learning models, real-world experience and the participation of entrepreneurs. Defined entrepreneurial learning outcomes for all educators are needed, to introduce effective entrepreneurial learning methodologies into the classroom.
The YouBrand project will design, test and spread the utilisation of an innovative training methodology/curriculum with the objective of supporting aspiring adult entrepreneurs in their start-up path.
To develop and test this curriculum the project will update the competences of trainers through a tran-the-trainer path providing them skills and resources developed by a partnership of six organisations from Poland, Italy, Spain, UK, Grece and Poland, involving education, research and innovation activities.
The delivery of ICT competencies will be strongly embedded in the training promoting the use of ICT to increase the efficacy and impact of training paths for entrepreneurship and start-up.
This curriculum will thus support the development of the following key competences:
- digital skills,
- initiative and entrepreneurship
The project will also develop a web community platform as a reference point for trainers active in entrepreneurship and business start-up training to share resources, follow-up projects and discussions.