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 FoodEIT Climate, EIT Urban Mobility, and EIT Manufacturing, five 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

September/October, 2022

Idea Camp Bulgaria

October, 2022

Idea Camp Slovenia

October/November, 2022

Idea Camp Hungary

October/November, 2022

Idea Camp Southern Italy

7-11 November, 2022

Idea Camp Portugal

December, 2022 – August, 2023

Entrepreneurship Programme

Through challenge-based learning, Skills for the Future empowered almost 2600 students across Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, and Slovenia from 2019 to 2021. In each country, students are brought into the EIT ecosystem of industry, academia, and research as they focus on specific themes: urban mobility in Bulgaria, climate change in Hungary, food in Italy, manufacturing in Portugal, and raw materials in Slovenia.

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 teachers 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 did not take place in 2021. Instead, we organised ad-hoc online meetings to celebrate 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 competencies and learning outcomes evaluated by the ESP are in complete alignment with those identified in the EntreComp framework developed by the European Commission.