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Ambitious objectives for EU27 Working Group on Entrepreneurship Education

Year/Date: 07/12/2011

Ambitious objectives for EU27 Working Group on Entrepreneurship Education

A newly established working group on entrepreneurship education comprising experts from EU member countries, candidate countries and Norway is determined to pitch entrepreneurship education to the top of the EU policy agenda. Launched on 5 December by the Directorate General for Education and Culture, the first meeting of the working group pinned down a number of core challenges to address in the bid for a more developed entrepreneurship drive in Europe’s education system.

Opening the meeting, Carlo Scatoli, Head of Unit at the European Commission’s education directorate, underlined the critical importance of entrepreneurship education to Europe’s development agenda before the group set about defining issues, objectives and activities for 2012.

Topping the priorities will be defining entrepreneurial learning outcomes for each level of the education system, a more developed teacher training drive as well as stakeholder engagement – recognition that the entrepreneurship policy agenda straddles both education and economic policies which needs to be co-worked with the world of enterprise.

Brian Cookson of the European Trade Union Committee for Education who sits on the working group was quick to point out that teachers were central to entrepreneurship education developments. ‘The fullest engagement of teachers will be pivotal to the success of any entrepreneurship drive,’ said Cookson. He pointed out that policy developments required teaching ‘be returned to the teachers,’ referring to the regressive impact on education by an increasing measurement culture.

Friederike Sözen of UEAPME, the European small business organization, who is also a member of the working group put the case for business engagement in entrepreneurship education. ‘Small business has a role to play at all levels - European, national, regional and local level,’ she said, adding ‘this is where business support organizations can ensure that the voice of small businesses be included in the debate.

Speaking after the meeting, the European Commission’s, Sannie Fisker who leads the Working Group, pointed to the high degree of ownership and engagement of all experts which she said was an excellent basis for the Group to move forward. ‘The establishment of the working group is timely,’ she said. ‘The global economic crisis is generating a policy relex in many countries as to the potential for education to play its part in addressing the challenges for competitiveness and employment. The working group’s activities are part of that response,’ added Fisker.

ETF is a member of the Working Group which has an initial mandate up to December 2012.

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