About Skills for the Future

Skills for the Future is a groundbreaking secondary education programme, fostering the next generation of entrepreneurs in Europe; empowering them with the insights, skills and confidence to innovate solutions to the numerous and complex challenges ahead.

Skills for the Future is an initiative of EIT RawMaterials, EIT Food and EIT Climate, three Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs), which are part of a larger network supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) to spur innovation and entrepreneurship to overcome some of Europe’s greatest challenges. The project is executed in partnership with Junior Achievement Europe, a leader in entrepreneurial education that connects students across the continent with industry mentors.

Timeline of activities

October 14, 2020

Idea Camp Hungary

November, 2020

Idea Camp Southern Italy

November 20, 2020

Idea Camp Slovenia

December, 2020 – August, 2021

Entrepreneurship Programme

Through challenge-based learning, in 2019-2021, Skills for the Future empowered almost 2000 students across Slovenia, southern Italy and Hungary. In each country, students are brought into the EIT ecosystem of industry, academia and research as they focus on specific themes; minerals, metals and other raw materials in Slovenia, food in southern Italy and climate change in Hungary.

Bringing together a unique combination of academic expertise, hands-on problem solving and mentorship from industry leaders, Skills for the Future offers students and their teachers a new mode of learning that centers students as the source of ingenuity and vision.

EU Skills for the Future Summit

The EU Skills for the Future Summit is a unique venue for cross-cultural exchange, where students working toward sustainability in different thematic and geographical contexts can come together to exchange ideas. The students who gather at the Summit are selected by their peers and juries of industry and academic experts for their outstanding innovations developed during intensive Idea Camps in their home countries.

The students and teacher return home with new perspectives to share with their peers and colleagues, broadening the impact of Skills for the Future in their schools and communities.

The inaugural Skills for the Future Summit was held in Brussels in November 2019. The students participated in dynamic activities to identify their core qualities and skills, and understand how best to deploy them as part of a team. Meanwhile, their teachers took part in a workshop on challenge-based learning techniques for the classroom.

Agriculture 4.0, sustainable schools, reducing waste, designing for the future; these were just some of the challenges students tackled with their innovations on the circular economy theme. The jury was impressed with the outcomes, ranging from an energy-neutral heating system, to an ink extracted from food waste to a table produced using the byproduct of steel production.

In light of the ongoing global Covid-19 pandemic, the EU Skills for the Future Summit will not take place in 2021. Instead, we are planning to organise ad-hoc online meetings to celebrate the students’ achievements and create a virtual community around the programme.

Entrepreneurial Skills Pass (ESP)

As students reach the end of the entrepreneurship programme, they are eligible for the Entrepreneurial Skills Pass (ESP), a unique international certification of skills and experiences. The ESP combines a competence-based assessment with a final examination validating and certifying their theoretical and factual knowledge about business issues and concepts.

The self-assessment allows students to reflect on their own progress in acquiring practically oriented skills and entrepreneurial attitudes throughout the year: creativity, self-confidence, teamwork, perseverance, taking responsibility, taking initiative and resourcefulness. Moreover by certifying their theoretical and factual knowledge on entrepreneurship, the ESP helps students gain access to further opportunities such as training, work experience and start-up support.

The competences and learning outcomes evaluated by the ESP are in complete alignment with those identified in the EntreComp framework developed by the European Commission.