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.


September 23-24, 2019

Idea Camp Slovenia

October 29, 2019

Idea Camp Southern Italy

November 8-9, 2019

Idea Camp Hungary

November 28, 2019

EU Skills for the Future Summit

December, 2019 – August, 2020

Entrepreneurship Programme

Through challenge-based learning, in 2019-2020, Skills for the Future will empower more than 1000 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.

Skills for the Future is comprised of four main elements:

Communication Training

After developing their innovations, Idea Camp teams receive expert guidance and hands-on coaching to pitch their ideas to investors and the public. With insights from academics, science journalists and successful entrepreneurs, students learn to translate complex, scientific ideas into compelling narratives.

Entrepreneurship Programme

During the remainder of the academic year, approximately 300 students in each country work in teams to create mini-companies offering products or services that solve challenges related to raw materials, food and climate change. Some students may choose to further develop innovations generated during Idea Camps, while others will innovate new products or services. Student teams are paired with industry mentors who work with the students as they develop their entrepreneurial instincts, financial literacy, business development and communications skills. At the end of the school year, student mini-companies compete in national and European competitions.

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.