FOSTERING THE ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT IN APPRENTICESHIP EDUCATION:DEVELOPING START-UP POTENTIAL OF APPRENTICES IN CRAFT AND MICRO-ENTERPRISES
Dublin Institute of Technology (IRELAND)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN10 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:Entrepreneurship is the process by which an individual, either on their own or within an organisation, pursues opportunities irrespective of the resources in their control (Stevenson and Jarillo). The idea of entrepreneurship is about looking for, finding and exploiting opportunities. This is encompassed in the entrepreneurial spirit which is both a way of thinking and of acting; a philosophy to a certain extent. This entrepreneurial philosophy manifests itself in a number of different ways and contexts in terms of attitudes, behaviour , professionally (being entrepreneurial over one’s career life cycle), or personally (family, community, personal relationships). Therefore, entrepreneurship in this project is not simply about the creation of entrepreneurs, but rather the development of the ability and facility to manage risk and change, to see and seize opportunity, and to be the drivers of creativity, innovation and ambition. Micro, small and medium–sized enterprises are considered to be the mainstay of the economy of the European Union, since they represent 99% of all EU enterprises. They are socially and economically important in that they provide 65 million jobs and contribute to innovation and entrepreneurship. However, a 2002 Eurobarometer survey found that EU citizens are less inclined to become entrepreneurs, and tend to be more risk adverse. In recognising this, the EU made entrepreneurship one of the main objectives of the Lisbon Agenda in 2000. The European Commission in 2003 drafted the Green Paper on Entrepreneurship in Europe to stimulate debate on how to best promote the entrepreneurial spirit. In 2004, in adopting the conclusions from ‘Stimulating Entrepreneurship’ the European Council recognising that entrepreneurship is a major driver of employment, innovation and growth encouraged member states to stimulate the entrepreneurial mindset through training and education. The SENSibilisation des Apprentis à leSprit d’entreprendre (SENSAS) project is based around the notion of fostering entrepreneurship, or the entrepreneurial spirit, among young people, in line with the European Commission’s 2004 “Action Plan: The European Agenda for Entrepreneurship”. In this specific case the focus is on apprentices, who are in direct contact with both the worlds of work and training by virtue of their position in work-linked training programmes. As such, this project aims to target trainers, to enable them to imbue their students with the idea of entrepreneurship and to equip apprentices with an entrepreneurial spirit that they will employ in the real world. This partnership entrepreneurial project is located within the area of continuing education for teachers and trainers. It targets the following actors: trainers of apprentices and apprentices. In addition the outputs of this project can be broadened to reach regular third level students (of business or commerce for example) as well as secondary school pupils and their teachers or lecturers. There are two main products or outputs anticipated for this project. These are a pedagogical tool kit to raise awareness in entrepreneurial spirit and a computer software role playing tool. This working paper will seek to assess the outcome streams from each of the partner organisations implementation of the SENSAS products and subsequent evaluation of the emerging entrepreneurial spirit and channel them into conceptual frameworks that will signpost a continuing research paradigm.
Keywords: entrepreneurship, apprenticeship, work-linked training, employability.