During the European Vocational Skills Week, taking place in Vienna between 5 and 9 November, Subotica School for Chemical Technology received by the European Training Foundation a best practice award in developing students’ entrepreneurial skills. By placing students in real-life situations, such as creating companies selling products in local shops, the school emerged as outstanding among examples from countries surrounding the EU. Through learning-by-doing students develop a real entrepreneurial mindset, including competences such as identifying opportunities, sustainable thinking, and working in teams. The prize was awarded by ETF Director, Cesare Onestini, in the presence of the EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen.
In Subotica, a town in western Serbia, the students of the School of Chemical Technology acquire entrepreneurial competences by setting up real companies. Developing businesses from the initial idea right up to actually selling products in their local community at competitive prices, students work on a variety of topics ranging from chemicals, to textiles and baked goods.
A best practice in the EU neighbourhood
The school, which selected the production of liquid soap as a success story, was awarded by the European Training Foundation as an example of best practice in the development of entrepreneurship as a key competence. Emerging as best among candidates from 8 countries, the Serbian school proved outstanding in applying the EU’s Entrepreneurship competence framework (EntreComp), a tool which promotes the entrepreneurial mindset of students. The prize was given by ETF Director, Cesare Onestini in the presence of EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, on the occasion of an award ceremony taking place in Vienna on 8 November, during the European Vocational Skills Week.
Students, real active players
The students of the award-winning project attend school and are active players in the production chain: they choose the colour of the soap and its scent; they design the logo, and packaging; they check the sales in the local shop, and make sure that the whole production process is undertaken in an eco-friendly way. As a consequence, beyond learning to become chemical lab technicians, they acquire entrepreneurial skills such as vision, planning, creativity and sustainable thinking.
A school inspired by the EU’s drive in entrepreneurial skills
The school is inspired by EntreComp, an EU tool for building entrepreneurial mindsets. The school has set concrete learning outcomes in the field of entrepreneurial skills development. Moreover, as far as teaching methodologies are concerned, it has put strong emphasis on self-directed learning, learning-by-doing and acquiring entrepreneurial experience by working on a school-based business. Finally, it proved to be a leader in the field of local business eco-system integration, by putting strong emphasis on environmental protection.
The discussion on competences will continue in Turin, Italy, on 21-22 November during the ‘Skills for the Future: Managing Transition’ conference – an event organized by the European Training Foundation which will put a spotlight on the skills needed to prepare people for the job market in a rapidly changing world. Participants from more than 50 countries – entrepreneurs, training providers, policy makers, innovators – will be attending with the aim of exploring how transition countries can respond to global trends shaping the labour market of tomorrow from a skills perspective. For more information: www.skills4future.eu
The European Training Foundation is the EU agency supporting the countries neighbouring the EU to reform their education and labour market systems, in line with the EU’s external action policy. Each year it launches a call for good practice in entrepreneurship key competence promotion in vocational education and training, specifically targeting countries in the EU neighbourhood. The purpose is to promote the sharing of examples of best practice, and to raise the awareness about Entrecomp, a tool developed by the EU to promote the entrepreneurial mindset of students.
The winner is awarded during the European Vocational Skills Week, an event organised annually by the European Commission. This year’s edition, taking place in Vienna, is organised in cooperation with the Austrian Presidency of the EU.
The winners of the previous ETF best practice awards for entrepreneurship as key competence development were the Technological Entrepreneurship Programme implemented in schools in Israel (2016) and Palestine Polytechnic University for its innovative teaching and learning approach (2017).