Building Europe through Entrepreneurship and Employment
Entrepreneurship, a priority of EU policy, encourages innovative and enterprising citizens with the necessary skills for life-long learning. Our project, involving ten schools, nine countries, will offer our students new learning opportunities to explore the business and working world of product development on a European scale. Due to high unemployment across Europe, we need to strengthen the entrepreneurship skills of our students. We also aim to create an awareness among our students of the varying levels of unemployment that exist across Europe and how to entrepreneurship and mobility can overcome this. Our project aims to help students to open their eyes to new possibilities and new ways of learning. This will be achieved by researching consumer markets as well as innovative practices and trends within Europe. This will further develop information and communication skills and enhance collaboration between students and teachers across borders.
This project will provide a number of benefits to students, teachers, schools and their wider communities including business partners. This will not only promote creativity but will enable students to focus on their own strengths to make good choices on future career paths, to develop necessary skills, to create global networks and to broaden their horizons in a European context. The skills gained will promote responsible students and active citizenship which will have positive impact in their homes, schools and local community. For teachers this will enhance professional skills and competences, including gaining insight into methodologies applied in partner schools and businesses. For schools our project will foster and develop relationships with businesses, making them aware of their future employees therefore motivating students to aspire and achieve. This will particularly benefit pupils who are disengaged with traditional education and are in danger of leaving school early by making them aware of the relevance of their education to the world of work.
Entrepreneurship was approached in the perspective of the economical strengths of The Netherlands. The Dutch government has designated nine top sectors in which The Netherlands distinguishes itself and acts as a global leader:
The students had to research the different top sectors and made their own brochure.
The knowledge about the work in the top sectors was deepened by doing job shadowing. All students had to organize an internship by using their own network. Having done it for three years we are proud to state that every year more than 100 Dutch students found an internship in a top sector. With their foreign partner they discovered the business field of the company and interviewed employees and directors. Together they wrote a report about their findings, opinions and experiences concerning working in that particular company.
Another opportunity to get employed is to ‘design your own company’. Entrepreneurs from companies in the top sectors were invited to give a workshop and challenge the students. Through a case study, international student groups had to brainstorm for their own start-up in the entrepreneurial top sector. Their ideas were presented to the entrepreneur in a so-called 'elevator pitch'. The best pitch won a customized power bank.
Due to the Erasmus+ project ‘Building Europe through Entrepreneurship and Employment’ ‘t Atrium has implemented the class Atrium Business School and an internship is now mandatory in career orientation.