The past seven years have been utterly critical for the global economy and for people all across the world. In the European Union, the economic crisis has been particularly detrimental, as unemployment has escalated and subsequently, an alarmingly high number of youth has left their country to seek for better professional opportunities abroad. The effects of the economic crisis still manifest themselves in the EU, as more and more people are trying to create new job opportunities for better working circumstances.
A major trend in the labour market evolution is the development of new forms of work across Europe to answer to the need for flexibility in human resources. Entrepreneurship has been a top priority in this effort, as it keeps becoming more and more popular for people who are unemployed and wish to undertake their own business. However, it is necessary to guarantee the good quality and conditions of these emerging entrepreneurial jobs in order to become sustainable and subsequently generate more job opportunities.
ENTRE-PASS: an Entrepreneurship Passport toward the European Area of Skills and Qualifications is a project proposal recently submitted to the European Commission Eramus + programme by our foundation and which addresses exactly this need, as it wishes to focus on the proper guidance and training for people who wish to build their own business. The project primarily targets unemployed people aged 30-49 with previous professional experience and basic academic education who have always wanted to develop their own business but lacked guidance and useful advice. It will also target a number of stakeholders working in the field of VET, entrepreneurship support and job assessment, who will be able to use the outputs of this project in their daily work. ENTRE-PASS wishes to address the needs of both the labour market as well as the numerous unemployed individuals who aspire to become entrepreneurs.
The most relevant issues addressed in this project are entrepreneurial learning and entrepreneurship education, recognition, transparency and certification through the ECVET system, and recognition of non formal/informal learning/credits.
The duration of the project will be 24 months starting in September 2015, during which it will bring together six different partner organizations from four different countries. Fundación Equipo Humano, which is the leading organization that will coordinate the overall execution and progress of the project, as well as FyG Consultores, are both based in Spain (Valencia). University of Gdansk and Danmar are based in Poland, whereas OMNIA is a Finnish organization. Finally, bfw is an organization which functions in Germany. All the partner organizations will bring important elements in the overall execution of this project, and their geographical diversity will offer different and valuable perspectives on the issues reflected in the project.
The implementation of ENTRE-PASS will be largely supported by several IT tools, which will be developed by Danmar, the partner organization with IT expertise. These include the project website, which will be available in all partners´ national languages in order to be accessible to all participants, and the project platform. All Open Educational Resources (OER) will be available on the platform free of charge. Other significant dissemination activities include social media presence, press releases, local press and reviews, various events and some marketing items. It is particularly important for the project to be as transparent as possible, in order to achieve both national and European visibility.
ENTRE-PASS aims at offering immediate help to the target group. Some of the results it wishes to achieve are:
- Better capacity of evaluation / auto-evaluation regarding entrepreneurial skills
- Better awareness of training needs
- Better access to training offer and OER
- Better readiness of the learning outcomes
Among others, it also wants to directly influence unemployed individuals who are in need of professional change, who lack orientation and proper training to develop the required competences to become self-employed or entrepreneurs.
In many countries, being an entrepreneur continues to be a rather controversial issue, as most people do not consider it a proper profession. ENTRE-PASS wishes to radically change this view and encourage the target group to develop an entrepreneurial spirit, support it in developing creative skills so as to be able to develop innovative business concepts and raise the quality of their offer and their competitiveness in the labour market.