Careers and Enterprise in Education have been placed at the top of the political agenda in many countries recently as the realisation that the skills which can be gained are important life skills for students. Being clear on what enterprise education actually is, and how you can embed it into your school and teaching can be a challenge for teachers. To help, I address what ‘Enterprise Education’ is, exploring the importance and impact of getting it right.
What is enterprise education?
Enterprise Education is crucial to young people’s employability and future. It provides an opportunity for students to develop as individuals and into enterprising young people. Enterprise Education should be viewed as not just producing entrepreneurs of the future, but equipping students with the skills they will need in the future in any walk of life. Enterprise can be simply be taking initiative, having a positive attitude or seeing an opportunity.
Enterprise skills can include the following:
- Positive Attitude
- Team work
- Willingness to learn
- Seeing an opportunity
- Taking risks
- Taking Initiative
- Presentation Skills
Why is Enterprise Education important?
Is it not important to relate what students are doing to the world of work and demonstrate how the skills learnt in school can be developed and relate the real world? The challenge is how do we communicate develop and embed enterprise in the curriculum. Enterprise skills can be applied throughout the curriculum in almost all subjects and can help students to achieve. We need to see beyond enterprise in isolation and just carried out in the Business Studies Department. I believe passionately in Enterprise Education and the opportunities it brings with it. I have seen students develop their confidence, motivation and skills by taking part in enterprise activities.
We live in a global world which has become a more accessible place due to innovations and technology. Enterprise provides a platform for students to consider the global world and their place with in it. It also provides an opportunity to develop new and enhance current skills, work with businesses, be enterprising and entrepreneurial. For many students this involves stepping out of their comfort zone – this is when the magic happens. How do we prepare students for an uncertain future? Who would have thought we have foreseen the growth of social media and the careers opportunities this offers? Take iOS developers or Zumba Fitness instructors; these jobs have only relatively recently existed. It’s essential for students to continuously develop and seek opportunities to prepare for changes in industry and an every changing world.
What is the impact of Enterprise Education?
The real challenge is without doubt the constant need to measure everything. This presents a challenge as enterprise does not always have a tangible impact and is very difficult to measure. How to do your measure a student’s response to challenges, ideas, skills, experiences and opportunities? Whether it is skills, a positive attitude or an innovative idea, enterprise prepares students for the future. I urge you to take the opportunity and involve your students in enterprise.
Stephen Logan is an Assistant Headteacher at Malet Lambert School, Hull East Yorkshire. Careers Development Institute, Careers Educator of the Year 2014. National Careers Week Ambassador #NCW2015. He teaches Business Studies and ICT and is extremely passionate about Education Careers Information Advice and Guidance and Enterprise Education. Find him on Twitter at @Stephen_Logan.