Entrepreneurial, A Vital Tool To Empower Young People
Understandably, it is complicated to propose a comprehensive study plan, which would allow us to prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow, when we do not know what those will be.I am often asked how to provide grounds for the young generation for their successful future employment, while the labour market as well as the required skillset, is constantly changing. I believe the right answer is the focus on teaching entrepreneurial skills on all educational levels. Developing an entrepreneurial mindset does not automatically mean that every young individual must become a businessman or businesswoman. It is rather a new way of dealing with upcoming challenges that inevitably arise as the digital revolution progresses.
Digitalization will affect the way of working in terms of job content, job dynamics, forms of work, job profiles, or location. Due to technological advances, the skills that we teach at school today might be considered outdated tomorrow. There is and will be an obvious need for specific technical IT and digital skills, but we also cannot forget about the increasing importance of soft skills, strong interpersonal and cognitive skills such as creativity and emotional intelligence or adaptability. Moreover, such features as being a free-thinker, a problem solver, being willing to take risks, and being innovative must become crucial elements in a youngster’s education scheme.
For me, an entrepreneurial mind and skill set, which we should promote in schools today, is the way of always searching for the most efficient way of completing any task. Entrepreneurs are people who try to think outside the box and outside the pre-established frameworks. People who are also creative and dedicated to the cause. I believe teaching our children these values is crucial for the EU’s competitiveness and our future. There are many ways how the entrepreneurial attitude can be fostered. Primarily by motivating students from a very young age, since it is our collective and societal responsibility to take on the mentoring role, to give them concrete examples, and to show them what awaits them after leaving school. In order to ensure a smooth transition from school to work, young people should be able to get in touch with the responsibilities and the work-life experience even before they finish their studies. There are different formats of how to make this happen, including various apprenticeships and traineeships.
For me, it is extremely important to put in place concrete measures and actions to motivate our youth to be more pro-active, to stimulate their curiosity, to strengthen their confidence, and to encourage them to adopt a ‘can do’ attitude. By close cooperation of the private sector, policymakers, and education institutions, we should be able to anticipate and reduce the current skills gap. All the relevant stakeholders should have a say in this.
About 40% of companies are struggling to find qualified staff and at the same time, the unemployment rate among young people aged from 15 to 25 in Europe is alarming. This means that governments, businesses, and the world of education and training all need to be involved in the establishment of educational programmes and modules. In order to keep up with the pace of innovation and changes, it is necessary to reform the logic of our education systems and to establish a much closer link between theoretical and practical knowledge. To better align the skills we teach our youngsters with labour market needs. I personally believe in the power of European youth, which has always been the driving force of the EU evolution. Young people are our future and I believe it is our duty to ensure they are obtaining the best education possible.