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3 August 2015: Concurrent Session

Transversal Skills and Entrepreneurship: From Theory to Practice in the Workplace

Date: 3 August 2015

Time: 14:30 – 16:30

 

 

Objectives:

  • To increase understanding about transversal skills and entrepreneurship;
  • To showcase innovative practices of infusing transversal skills and entrepreneurship in post-secondary education; and
  • To formulate recommendations to enhance linkages between education and workplace practices, particularly in small and medium scale enterprises.

 

Key questions:

  • What are the key features of transversal skills and entrepreneurship?
  • What are the barriers preventing young people from acquiring these skills?
  • How can universities and TVET institutions enable their students to acquire these skills?
  • How can these educational institutions and small and medium scale enterprises support young people to ensure the transference of these skills in the workplace?

 

Facilitator:

  • Ms. Lay-Cheng Tan, UNESCO Bangkok

 

Speakers:

  • Mr. Youngsup Choi, Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training (KRIVET)
  • Y.Bhg. Datin Dr.Syahira Binti Hamidon, Entrepreneurship Unit, Ministry of Education, Malaysia
  • Mr. Ian Jester M. de Vera, Information Technology and Enterprise Innovation Division, Institute for Small-Scale Industries, University of the Philippines

 

Outline:

About 200 million people – 75 million of whom are under 25-years-old – were unemployed in 2013 (ILO, 2014). Faced with continuing economic challenges, many governments are encouraging their youth to become entrepreneurs to create jobs for themselves and their peers.

Nassim Taleb, author of The Black Swan, stated that “education is the enemy of entrepreneurship”, contending that education turns entrepreneurs into bureaucrats (Cua, 2014). Others say that entrepreneurship can be taught. To Peter Drucker (1985), “[entrepreneurship]’s not magic, it’s not mysterious, and it has nothing to do with the genes. It’s a discipline. And, like any discipline, it can be learned.”

The Economist Intelligence Unit found that 79 percent of entrepreneurs credited their university education in helping them start their own business, but 81 percent said they acquired more entrepreneurial skills through work experience than through education. The report concluded that successful entrepreneurs can make use of education, but traditional teaching methods risk undermining attitudes conducive to entrepreneurship (EIU, 2014).

UNESCO Bangkok’s research established that transversal skills include competencies in collaboration, problem-solving, entrepreneurship, and so on. Concurrently, its entrepreneurship education project noted that while generating jobs is important, developing and cultivating an entrepreneurial spirit – creativeness, innovativeness, curiosity, lateral thinking, adaptability, resourcefulness, and risk-taking – is equally crucial. Clearly, a discussion about the different skills needed for work now, and in the future, would be useful for resolving current unemployment problems, and will highlight the importance of nurturing resourceful citizens to address 21stCentury issues.

Therefore, this session will provide an opportunity to increase understanding about transversal skills and entrepreneurship; showcase innovative practices of infusing transversal skills and entrepreneurship in post-secondary education; and formulate recommendations to enhance linkages between education and workplace practices, particularly in small and medium scale enterprises – the most common businesses in most of the world’s economies (OECD, 2000; ADB, 2014).

References:

ADB. 2014. Asia SME Finance Monitor 2013. Manila.

Cua, G. 2014. Too much education is bad. Don't over-educate the young: Nassim Taleb. The Straits Times, 22 December 2014.http://www.straitstimes.com/news/opinion/more-opinion-stories/story/too-much-education-bad-dont-over-educate-the-young-nassim-ta

Drucker, P.F. 1985. Innovation and Entrepreneurship. New York: Harper and Row.

Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). 2014. Helping Entrepreneurs Flourish: Rethinking the Drivers of Entrepreneurship. http://bit.ly/1I3JP7Z

ILO. 2014. Global Employment Trends 2014. Risk of a Jobless Recovery. Geneva.

OECD. 2000. OECD Small and Medium Enterprise Outlook 2000. Paris.