Cedefop’s workshop ‘Entrepreneurship competence in vocational education and training (VET)’ explored how entrepreneurship competence is embedded in VET and ways to promote its value.

Welcoming VET experts from all over Europe, policy-makers, social partners, researchers and VET providers, Cedefop Executive Director Jürgen Siebel pointed out that ‘entrepreneurship competence creates value for others, innovation, inclusion and sustainable development, a must-have key competence for all. In VET this refers to learners, teachers, trainers, school managers and others.’

The workshop took place virtually on 17 and 18 February, and its objectives were presented by Cedefop’s Loukas Zahilas, who indicated the two most important guidelines of the discussion:

  • The presentation of Cedefop early results on how entrepreneurship competence is embedded in VET.
    What are the most beneficial and interesting results from Cedefop’s pilot research on entrepreneurship competence in VET findings?
  • Discussion around tools and methods that may help overcome barriers in promoting entrepreneurship competence in VET.
    Could a toolkit support embedding entrepreneurship competence in VET?

DG EMPL’s Chiara Riondino stressed that the need to foster an entrepreneurial mindset is as crucial as ever, while EU Growth’s Dana Puia Morel gave a significant pointer as to the aspirations of EU policy: ‘We want all Europeans, not necessarily to become entrepreneurs, but to become entrepreneurial.’

Cedefop’s research methodology was piloted in Italy and Latvia between September and December 2021, with six VET providers selected in each country.

The aim was to gain valuable insights into how entrepreneurship competence is embedded in VET. ‘Information-rich’ cases were therefore selected, namely VET providers with advanced understanding of the competence and a diverse portfolio of activities (curricular and extracurricular) delivered in collaboration with other stakeholders in the entrepreneurial learning ecosystem.

Entrepreneurial learning ecosystem (ELE)


The participants discussed how entrepreneurship competence is understood and enacted in VET at national level and how these research results can help policy-makers, social partners, training providers and other stakeholders promote it.

Additionally, during the panel discussions among the VET experts, inspiring ideas on how to build an entrepreneurial learning ecosystem in VET were examined, with the development of a VET toolkit treated as a prominent instrument to that effect.

The toolkit would be designed to assist VET providers, national and regional policy-makers, social partners, intermediate and non-governmental organisations supporting aspiring entrepreneurs, researchers and other stakeholders.

As was noted during the workshop, embedding entrepreneurship competence in VET requires the interplay between 3 interlocking spheres: policy level, VET-provider level, program - classroom level. The toolkit -it was further concluded- should offer background information, the presentation of the Entrepreneurial learning ecosystem (ELE), a self-assessment questionnaire, VET guidelines with a roadmap with explanatory notes and driving questions, methods, tools and approaches that have proven successful and additional resources to help moving from idea to practice.