Ecosystem of Learning in Initial Vocational Education and Training: An Innovative Model for Development of Entrepreneurial Competence

Ecosystem of Learning in Initial Vocational Education and Training: An Innovative Model for Development of Entrepreneurial Competence

Olga Novojen (University State of Moldova, Moldova) and Nina Birnaz (University State of Moldova, Moldova)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7853-6.ch012

Abstract

This chapter applies critical theory to analyze the impact of ecosystems-based theoretical models of learning and communication on vocational training at the initial level. The stories of change and challenge in this area is guided by UNESCO-UNESCO-UNEVOC's international program on technical and vocational education and training, as well as by global initiatives such as education for all and education for sustainable development. The chapter has three main purposes: (1) to emphasize the need to redefine the what it means to be entrepreneur, (2) to explore the impact of ecosystems-based theoretical models of learning and communication on entrepreneurial competence, and (3) to develop an innovative model for development of entrepreneurial competence.
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Introduction

Entrepreneurial Competence is the competence of successful entrepreneur. It represents the sum of knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to develop, to organize and to manage a business venture along with any of its risks. According to Torres-Coronas & Vidal-Blasco (2016), the person with entrepreneurial competence should possess social, managerial and networking competences. In other words, an entrepreneur should demonstrate hard and soft skills. UNESCO promoted this idea. Thus, by the year 1999, at the UNESCO Conference was established the global center “UNESCO-UNEVOC” aims to provide high quality programs throughout life. This centre acts as a key component of UNESCO’s international programme on technical and vocational education and training. It also works to support UNESCO’s mandate for programme “Education for All” and “Education for Sustainable Development”. In order to achieve this objective, the centre strength and upgrade the worldwide UNEVOC Network (Flagship Programme) in order to promote learning and skills development for the world of work to ensure peace, justice, equity, poverty alleviation and greater social inclusion at the international level.

The UNESCO-UNEVOC Centre works closely together with UNESCO’s Section for Youth, Literacy and Skills Development. The main work of the Centre is focused on achievement the Global Education 2030 Agenda, especially to achieve the goal four “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. The UNESCO Strategy for TVET for 2016-2021 was officially launched in Bonn on 15 July 2016. The strategy to achieve this goal has three priority areas:

  • Fostering youth employment and entrepreneurship;

  • Promoting equity and gender equality;

  • Facilitating the transition to green economies and sustainable societies.

The European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training is the European Union’s reference centre for vocational education and training that provide information on and analyses of vocational education and training systems, policies, research, and practice. One of the focus of Cedefop is initial vocational education and training (IVET). According to definition provided by Cedefop (2014) with reference to UNESCO (2011), IVET represents a sum of educational programmes designed for learners to acquire the knowledge, skills, and competences specific for a particular occupation or trade or class of occupations or trades. Successful completion of IVET programmes leads to labour-market-relevant vocational qualifications, acknowledged as occupationally oriented by the relevant national authorities and/or the labour market. Therefore, IVET falls at the intersection between education, both general secondary and tertiary, and the world of work. This affects the way programmes are constructed and deployed, as they are designed to meet the wider economic and social needs of a country or/and region.

The key overarching aim of IVET is to help learners to develop knowledge, skills, and competences that are relevant for future employment. For this is important to engage employers and unions in the development of the curriculum that need to consider different ways in which people learn. Moreover, the IVET schemas need to be flexible and adaptive to local, regional and global challenges. According to Watters (2009), there are three types of IVET pathways that lead to qualifications:

  • Type A: School-based learning with simulated work-based learning, often supplemented by a short work experience placement in a company of around one to four weeks;

  • Type B: School-based learning as in type A, but with a substantial work-based component (e.g. 5 to 10 weeks per year);

  • Type C: Company-based apprenticeship type model, where most learning takes place at work, but this is supplemented by some classroom learning (e.g. one to two days per week, or a short block of school-based learning).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Entrepreneurship: The capacity and willingness to develop, to organize and to manage a business venture along with any of its risks in order to make a profit.

Employment Process (Hiring Process): A process from the job application to the first day at the job.

Ecosystem Community: A unit of biological-social organization made up of all qualified people in a given area interacting with the physical environment so that maintain a dynamic equilibrium.

Competency: The trained teacher behaviors; a class of things that can be used to characterize individuals and their behaviors.

Competence: A sum of knowledge, skills, and attitudes manifested in an underlying characteristic of a person, which results in an effective actions and/or superior performance in a job.

IVET: Initial vocational education and training.

Entrepreneurial Competence: A sum of knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to develop, to organize and to manage a business venture along with any of its risks.

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