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Stakeholders launched a new EU-wide education scheme to help improve youth employability [New Europe]

04 March 2015

With jobs and growth being the focus of the EU for the next five years, boosting European entrepreneurs has become increasingly important.

Entrepreneurial skills building through new European initiative

JA-YE launches Entrepreneurial Skills pass

With jobs and growth being the focus of the EU for the next five years, boosting European entrepreneurs has become increasingly important.

However, in a borderless Europe, young people entering into business will need a skills and training course that will be recognised wherever they go. It’s said the easy part is getting an idea, the hard part is making it real.

A new initiative has been launched in Brussels by JA-YE Europe (Junior Achievement – Young Enterprise Europe) to provide the skills needed: the Entrepreneurial Skills Pass. A programme that provides training, and real world experience with business and mentorship.

Included is the financial literacy many young entrepreneurs lack or would like improved.

Caroline Jenner, CEO of JA-YE Europe reissued this call to action by reminding that: “It is not only young people that will benefit from the Entrepreneurial Skills Pass. Employers will also gain access to a newly qualified and talented pool of youth – enriching their workforce and fueling the economy.  That’s why we are calling for increased support from leaders and businesses. Join us by endorsing ESP today.”

The Entrepreneurial Skills Pass

The pass is running in 26 countries and includes a full-year in-school mini-company experience; an examination of business, economic and financial knowledge; the possibility to access further opportunities offered by small and large businesses, top higher institutions and international organisations across Europe.

Petra Kammerevert MEP (S&D, DE) said “A shrinking and increasingly competitive job market presents a serious challenge for policy-makers. We must ensure that European youth possess all the necessary job skills that are attractive to employers or that they hold basic entrepreneurship skills that can help them become self-employed.” She added, “After all, having a competent young workforce is crucial to retaining competitiveness of the EU economy as a whole.”

This was supported by business representatives.

Nick Jones, Head of Corporate Responsibility & Digital Communications at Visa Europe, echoed the need for a skills boost. “More than 50% of young people aged 18-24 said they had a good business idea. However, as many as 20% admitted they feared starting-up in business because they did not understand the financial implications of running a business.”

He continued, “Therefore, a good financial education is essential to empower more young Europeans to become successfully self-employed, creating new jobs for their peers in the long-term.”

Trudy Norris-Grey from Public Sector Microsoft said, “Given high levels of youth unemployment in Europe, it is vital that we equip young people with the skills they need to succeed in the labour market. Increasingly, this means bridging the education-to-work gap.”

This article originally appeared on New Europe (www.neurope.eu) here on 4 March 2015.

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