Vocational School Students Challenging Europe’s Competitiveness
Brussels, 23rd May 2012: Students trying to enter today’s highly competitive labour market need to improve their talent for innovation and improve their entrepreneurial skills if they are not going to join the swelling ranks of unemployed youth. This week’s Innovation Camp 2012, which took place in Brussels on 22nd and 23rd May, organised by Junior Achievement-Young Enterprise Europe (JA-YE Europe), put vocational students’ entrepreneurial acumen to the test.
The camp pushes students to come up with realistic product and service concepts against a tight deadline of 24 hours. They must work in an international team, communicate in different languages with other young people they have never met. The process promotes innovative thinking and the improvement of collaboration skills; students work closely with a wide range of business people as mentors to help shape their ideas. 10000 students participated in 78 camps across Europe under the European Creativity and Innovation Challenge Network funded by Leonardo da Vinci Networks Programme over the last 3 years. Every camp focused on a different challenge and this time students were asked to improve Europe’s competitiveness. This year’s final had 78 students from 14 European countries supported by 27 mentors from INTEL, GE and EUROCHAMBRES.
The winning team, called the “Gloring”, developed the concept of a ring with a chip that will contain all the necessary information and data substituting an identity card and a wallet hence facilitating everyday life.
JA-YE Alumni, on average, are more employable and are more passionate and motivated in their careers. Amongst them there are 50% more startups with higher survival rates that generate higher revenues and create more jobs.
Caroline Jenner, CEO of JA-YE said: “There are things we can do right now to tackle the high unemployment rates we are seeing everywhere. Projects like this put young people in direct contact with business and industry but in a way that develops their entrepreneurial skills at the same time. It’s a strategy that works and is scalable.”
Joanna Drake, Director – SMEs and Entrepreneurship, European Commission, DG Enterprise and Industry, argued: “I see the crisis as an opportunity to reinvent ourselves in Europe particularly through the exciting minds and ideas of our young people who should be more and more encouraged to fulfill themselves via entrepreneurship. This competition is an exercise that opens the window for young people to realize their own potential as creators and entrepreneurs and that it should happen more often all across Europe.”
The Director of Corporate Affairs Group EMEA Intel, Guenther Junger added “projects like this are contributing to the future of European competitiveness by creating real life experiences and producing such great ideas in only one day.”
Hendrik Bourgeois, Vice President Europe Affairs GE added: “GE has been working with JA-YE for twenty years to help students in schools across Europe get ready for the real world by teaching them to manage their money and time, think creatively, and collaborate with others.”
This year we are proud to have exceeded expectations with the European Creativity and Innovation Challenge:
- Overall the project has already impacted over 10,000 students.
- We surpassed our target for teacher participation reaching 700 by the end of the project.
- We have more than doubled the target for business volunteers involving over 1,000 business volunteers in the programme
For more information, please contact Roxana Stefanescu email@example.com ( +32-2-735-97-20 )
(Source: Ja-Ye Europe)
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31 May 2012