Entrepreneurship classrooms in vocational training in Spain
Vocational Training in Spain generates highly qualified professionals prepared to join the labour market and to be catalysts for innovation, productivity and entrepreneurship in our society. And this does not remain on paper, EMPRENEURSHIP CLASSROOMS has been in place since 2021 within the National Plan for the Modernisation of Vocational Training for a period of 3 years.
Launching an ENTREPRENEURSHIP CLASSROOM means starting a journey where the educational centre and its environment are the ones that are set in motion, being the students, the teaching staff and the management team the main participants around which the Modernisation Plan revolves, as well as collaborating entities and institutions.
With the implementation of the EMPRENEURSHIP CLASSROOMS in Spain, the aim is to:
I. To raise awareness of entrepreneurship in general and in its social, sustainable or collaborative versions among the students of the educational centre. This is the most important challenge: to infect students with the exciting world of entrepreneurship. It is necessary to start from a design of the workshops that is very close to the way of life of today’s young people. It must be dynamic, visual, fun, participative, and provide motivating experiences that lead them to take an interest in the proposal. It is possible to organise: “Entrepreneurial coffee”, “Webinars” by leading entrepreneurs, “Entrepreneurship by entrepreneurship” or “Successful entrepreneurial experiences”.
II. Train teachers, as they are the leaders in the implementation of entrepreneurship classrooms. In this field, everything can be learned and everything is to be learned; society changes, our consumer habits change, our environment changes, which is why our way of understanding entrepreneurship has to be constantly updated and in line with our reality. It will be necessary to become familiar with the current active methodologies of entrepreneurship, characterised by being agile, promoting innovation, and with it, the talent of the students. In addition to specialised training and external collaborations.
III. Create a physical space that encourages creativity, innovation, teamwork and, as a consequence, innovation and entrepreneurship. The aim is to design the ideal ENTREPRENEURSHIP CLASSROOM, but the structure of the entrepreneurship classroom will depend on each centre and the space management it has available, so it will be necessary to design a very versatile and dynamic version of the classroom that is easily adaptable to both face-to-face and virtual environments. To facilitate individual and/or group work, as well as the different rhythms of work, collaboration and creation, it will be very useful for the entrepreneurship classroom to be divided into environments and/or workspaces. It is a multifunctional space adapted to the virtual reality we live in and conducive to the use of current active methodologies of entrepreneurship and innovation.
IV. Generate real and initial experiences of entrepreneurship in the participating students. Entrepreneurship workshops will be developed, which will be a key activity of the entrepreneurship classroom. It will be necessary to design an entrepreneurship itinerary to be followed together with the contents and resources to be used to implement it and it is important to bear in mind that, for the itinerary to make sense and really generate powerful business ideas with possibilities of success and creating economic and social wealth, it has to be an agile, realistic, possible and close to the possibilities of the students.
V. Consolidate the “Soft-Vocational skills” as transversal and necessary skills for students to succeed as entrepreneurs and enhance their autonomy, confidence and employability. These skills can be learned and, as far as possible, the entrepreneurship classroom can contribute to this, as it is a cross-cutting activity that complements the main purpose of the entrepreneurship classroom. It is necessary to take a break and think about which of the “soft-vocational skills” you want to start working on, or at least make a prioritised list of skills in which both the students who join the classroom and the teachers who promote it are interested.
VI. To create a network of collaboration, cooperation and alliances between educational centres, companies, institutions and organisations committed to entrepreneurship. These may collaborate as mentors, business angels, expert advisors in management, administration, commercialisation, launching, digital marketing, new procedures and/or technologies, or any of the business areas in which they are specialised, collaborators as active members of the process of generating business ideas and testing them in the real market, testing, being their “early adopters” in the launch, or collaborating in their dissemination, sponsors…
VII. Organise and/or participate in entrepreneurship fairs with a wider geographical scope in collaboration with other entrepreneurship classrooms in the area.
VIII. Participate in calls for regional or national awards for projects related to entrepreneurship and Start-ups.
IX. Expand the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the educational centre with business incubators in which the projects born in the entrepreneurship classrooms can evolve.
With the implementation of the entrepreneurship classrooms in Vocational Training in Spain, a powerful lever for economic growth is being promoted by incorporating the world of digitalisation, entrepreneurship and innovation in a transversal way into the reality of educational centres and their environment.
By Amara Hinojal Rascón & David Fernández Montes
Tutors Entrepreneurship Education Programmes