ABOUT THE PROJECT

Why develop employability and entrepreneurship

Considering the decline in industrialisation of our area, due to the economic crisis, and the migration of families to more thriving economic environments our school has contemplated the urgent need to enhance young people's creative, culture and innovative capabilities towards entrepreneurship. Lack of creative skills is one of the causes of unemployment, therefore a student who is exposed to knowledge is better disposed at being creative, thus encouraging innovation and greater marketing opportunities. Therefore to focus on students and learning by integrating theory and practice is a way of implementing effective entrepreneurship education. Students will benefit from the project as they will be exposed to workshops and seminars that will help them identify business opportunities. The project will also help in linking what is learnt in school with practical situations so as to be able to solve practical problems in society. Students will be exposed to learning tools and activities such as workshops, consultations with practicing entrepreneurs, computer simulations and the used of video and films. Their knowledge will be shared with other partners and this will create greater awareness.


Summary

GROWW - Getting Ready for the Opportunities in the World of Work apart from being the aim of each individual, one's personal goal to achieve growth and professional fulfillment either as employee or entrepreneur, is also a common venture . What counts is not just being a successful individual but how to personally contribute to a group, a team, the community, and be a useful team player. SINERGEE - Strategies and Initiatives, New in Education to Reinforce Grounding in Employability and Entrepreneurship ( including social entrepreneurship) will be focused on. Seven partners (Bulgaria, Finland, France, Italy, Roumania, Poland, Portugal ) will bring together their skills, knowledge and expertise to work towards what is today's school major task - to teach students (aged 15-20) to recognise and develop their potential as individuals and teammates and build up the right set of attitudes, skills and knowledge that can ensure their capability of being effective in the workplace to the benefit of themselves and society.

The project was prompted by the need to combat low motivation and apathy at school, as well as anxiety about the future. This is a large project partnership as the coordinator believes it will facilitate the broadest range of perspectives, experiences and examples of good practices from different cultural backgrounds. We intend to apply innovation and exchange good practices in diverse learning based on working life needs. Throughout the two years the project lasts participating students will be engaged in activities that encourage learning by doing - they will collaborate, learn and train, search and investigate, examine, compare, prioritise and analyze, plan, organise, initiate, create, implement and evaluate with the strong involvement of their teachers, school management, parents and community.

The development of the project will be based on a permanent communication between partners via social media, Twin Space , or face to face in six different international meetings and activities.

Considering that the topic of the project is of great interest for partners and a European priority, we believe that it must be disseminated widely from the level of the partners' institutions to the wide educational community by using various instruments such as mass media, project website, FB page and direct meetings. This project will identify effective practice using different evaluation methods for analyzing strengths and weaknesses in order to obtain a good practice partnership. The involved partner members will have precise tasks in accomplishing a user-friendly end products such as an e-journal, a website and multimedia short products made available electronically for the target and for the stakeholders in different European countries as a real added value for education.

This two-year project represents one phase of a long-term goal devoted to the acquisition of specific life and intercultural skills and strategies, which will enable students to make better sense of the world they live in and their place in it.


Description

Our involvement in a project on employability and entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship including, proceeds from the conviction that young people from all cultures face the same fundamental choice in life related to their future professional fulfillment. We see the role of this project as empowering our students to understand and act on unemployment and anxiety about the future. The aim is to form a partnership in a non-formal learning process and so enable them to realise their potential as individuals and teammates, and help them develop the right set of attitudes, skills and knowledge to ensure they have the capability of being effective in the workplace to the benefit of themselves, the community and society as a whole. We intend to apply innovation and exchange good practices in diverse learning based on working life needs.

Young people today face plenty of problems in the world of work and the school often fails to prepare them for that. Our project aims to help our students to become aware of their potential, to see that they are capable beings and find the strength to establish themselves as efficient employees or entrepreneurs, which is necessary both for their personal development and their future life. It would be a great opportunity for the students to share the skills and knowledge they have, with the students from other countries. By getting aware of opportunities young people from other countries have, they will be better equipped to identify and seize their own.

Bulgarian students live in a country of a new democracy, in the process of opening up and making itself better known to the rest of the world. The country experiences today great difficulty in offering young people sustainable future, so more and more young people are leaving Bulgaria in search of employment and successful professional fulfillment. By getting aware of opportunities the world of work offers today, Bulgarian students could become more willing to contribute to their own country, as well as more competent to study or work in a multicultural European context.

Considering the decline in industrialisation due to the economic crisis, and the migration of families to more thriving economic environments all the partner schools in this project contemplated the urgent need to enhance young people's creative, culture and innovative capabilities towards entrepreneurship. Lack of creative skills is one of the causes of unemployment, therefore a student who is exposed to knowledge is better disposed at being creative, thus encouraging innovation and greater marketing opportunities. Therefore to focus on students and learning by integrating theory and practice is a way of implementing effective entrepreneurship education. Students will benefit from the project as they will be exposed to workshops and seminars that will help them identify business opportunities. The project will also help in linking what is learnt in school with practical situations so as to be able to solve practical problems in society. Students will be exposed to learning tools and activities such as workshops, consultations with practising entrepreneurs, computer simulations and case study.

It is a students-centred project but it actively involves teachers(the second major target), school management, parents and the local community.

This project should be carried out transnationally because we see its subject of identifying opportunities in the context of multicultural Europe. This project is not with a focus on Cultural Studies, but touching on differences is inevitable in an international partnership. In a situation of increased mobility, both in terms of tourism and and the opportunities provided by higher education and the job market, working towards intercultural competence (which is an integral part of any multilateral partnership no matter what its subject matter is ) will make students more adaptable and will develop their ability to communicate successfully in any social context and increase their sense of dignity and self-respect.

Working in a partnership with other European countries will give students a greater chance to become more familiar and more open-minded to pressing social needs in multicultural Europe. The concept of social entrepreneurship is recent and it is becoming important to be heard by broader audiences. We believe it is fundamental to develop sensitivity and understanding of social needs (including refugees'), in order to become better aware of what being European citizens means, to promote democratic ideals and to be able to recognize, challenge and fight prejudices and stereotypes, as well as build up respect for differences and empathy.

By August, 2018 we expect employability and entrepreneurial skills of students to have improved, their awareness to social needs to have risen. We expect change in achievement and attitude, which will be measured by observation, assessment and surveys.


Plan of Activities

The plan of activities includes three main stages - employability, entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship.

PART 1- Employability: All activities will focus on building up employability skills. Students will learn how to write a CV, a motivation letter, will learn about European instruments/certificates. They will identify strengths and areas they need to develop, will learn about the skills and traits mostly valued by employers, what brings job satisfaction and how to prioritize, how to choose a profession, how to search for a job, the relationships between employer- employee, strategies for job interviews. At the end of this stage students should be able to identify areas they need to develop, make an action plan; write a reference to recommend a partner for a position or a motivation letter. Where applicable there will be summer placement - students will keep a diary to record their use of skills.

All this will be achieved through informal and non-formal learning: workshops, thought showering, discussions, research, presentations, group work, self-assessment, team work, drawing profiles, research in town, interviewing parents, community, recruitment agencies, preparing posters, role play, forums, inquiery among parents, teachers, local community, a student-parent meeting.

Students will remember, understand, apply, analyze, evaluate, create.

PART 2 -Entrepreneurship: There will be exchange of good practices. Teachers will show presentations from training and familiarise students with their own former school experience and experience of partner schools. Students will learn about entrepreneurship with the active support of their teachers. Teachers will be strongly involved at this stage by learning themselves more about entrepreneurship, facilitated by competent colleagues and next they will develop teaching tools. Students will compare entrepreneurship with employability after learning about the skills and traits of a successful entrepreneur. They will study cases of business developed by youth, visit small companies, study strategies, methodology approaches, tools. Teams will be formed to encompass more students who will make their first steps in entrepreneurship by making a business plan and setting up an enterprise challenge. There will be also a Manager's Day to put into practice skills acquired by the end of this stage.

Objectives will be achieved through: workshops, seminars, presentations, feedback, learning outside the classroom, legwork, visits, interviews with small entrepreneurs, team work, students - parents meeting.

Students will compare, construct, deconstruct, analyse, create, reflect, evaluate.

Enterprise challenge : Describe the challenge, Break the challenge into steps, How you will prepare, Put together an action plan, Risk management checklist, What you learnt from the challenge - self evaluation, discussion- evaluation checklists, diaries, assignments.

Part 3 - Social entrepreneurship: Study the basics of Social entrepreneurship and compare with Business entrepreneurship. There will be workshops about: What Social entrepreneurship is, Who is a social entrepreneur, How to identify social opportunity, Create a business model, Select an organizational form, Identify the legal context for a social enterprise. Identify social needs of community to create a social change and Develop a business model and outline ideas in a business plan to launch a social enterprise.

Objectives will be achieved through presentations, workshops, surveys, questionnaires, legwork, face to face meetings, discussions, round table, filming.

At the short-term exchange of pupils they will present the results of current initiatives - discuss positive outcomes, social context, alternative solutions; Form international teams to do research, and set up a new social enterprise following the established procedure - Competition.

Follow up -The most applicable plan is carried out at schools.

Third transnational meeting: Present the results of social enterprise - videos, photos, descriptions.

Follow up - Video conference -compare and analyse the social enterprise in different context, exchange strategies and approaches, measure social impact.

The greater chunk of the activities at all the stages involves use of technology and developing ICT skills for both teachers and students.

Part 4

Activities for ongoing dissemination and evaluation - meetings, questionnaires, preparing brochures and fliers.

Work on the final product - an e-journal in Employability and Entrepreneurship with tips and strategies, worksheets on skills development - presentations and short videos, thought showering, discussions, converting files, compiling, editing, designing.

Entrepreneur's Week - try out the e-journal with the students involved in the project, disseminate the product at all levels through a conference, workshops, exhibition, local media.

The detailed plan is presented in the attached gantt chart.


Mobilities:

1. First transnational meeting in Bulgaria - 2 teachers; October or November

2. Short-term exchanges of groups of pupils in Finland - 4 students + 1 teacher; February or March

This activity in Finland will aim at developing employability skills through workshops, legwork, research, interviews:

Day 1. The Learning Pyramid - remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating, creating.

Acitivities: Attitudes and Qualities, Skills awareness, Learning from experience, Risk management, Problem solving tools -workshops.

Day 2. The 17 Foundation most important skills - identifying strengths and weaknesses, evaluation checklist - workshop.

- explore Linked-in - pairwork, group work, Internet cafe

- SWOT analysis - case study

Day 3. What makes a good employee - team work, leg work ( take interviews from local employers, draw profiles).

Day 4. Career orientation - rare jobs - research in town , interview parents, community, recruitment agencies, come up with a short presentation.

Day 5. Research on job interviews - watch video materials, read instructions, study strategies - workshop

- Make a list of do's and don't's of how to behave at a job interview - prepare poster.


3. Short-term joint staff training events in Italy - 4 teachers; April or May

This activity will be carried out in Italy with the aim to exchange good practices and to update some teachers' knowledge of Entrepreneurship, while others will be given the basics so that they could pass it after that on to others involved in the project.

Day 1. There will be exchange of good European practices - of each country - presentations, short videos, photos.

Day 2. Presenting each school's experience in Entrepreneurship, schools that have training enterprise, students co-op, business simulation projects for local businesses etc.

Day 3. Basics in Entrepreneurship - strategies, methodology, approaches, tools

Day 4. There will also be workshops on developing materials and teaching aids

Day 5. Developing assessment tools; developing the diary checklist for the summer assignment, updating the plan of activities for the follow up.


4. Second transnational meeting in Portugal - 3 teachers;

5. Short-term exchanges of groups of pupils in France - 3 students + 1 teacher, March

This activity in France aims at developing Social entrepreneurial skills - 3 students +1 teacher

Day 1. Participating students will present the results of launching a virtual social enterprise (think of a target group, develop a strategy, make an action plan, advertise, organise, implement the plan, reflect) - positive outcomes, social context, alternative solutions - discussion

Day 2 -Competition - Form international teams to do research, and set up a new social enterprise following the established procedure of:

How to identify social opportunity - group work, research in town, legwork, thought showering

Day 3. Create a business model - group work

Day 4. Select an organisiational form- groupwork

Day5. Each team presents the social enterprise - presentation and discussion for analysis


6. Final transnational meeting in Poland - 3 teachers; May