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Developing Real Innovation in Vocational Entrepreneurship
Start date: Jan 1, 2015, End date: Dec 30, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The 28 day DRIVE Dublin Programme in collaboration with IEP Ireland, can be seen as taking an innovative step alongside the launch of the new Erasmus Plus initiative to address and action some of the key strategies outlined by the European Union Commission. These strategies include improving and enhancing employability skills, whilst developing entrepreneurial mind sets through innovational training elements and vocational learning experiences. Learners & staff will experience real time business projects working alongside startups and established entrepreneurs to develop employability skills from communication to project management and research to implementation, as well as receiving vocational training on how to create and launch a business from scratch developing technical skills from website creation to online social media marketing. VET Learners Truro and Penwith College, if successful with the funding application, will recruit 60 learners selected from a range of course focuses including Business, Administration, IT and Marketing. The college will aim to select learners up to the age of 20 highlighted at risk of NEET. The initial aim of the project in question is to develop the learners core employability skills and initiative to drive entrepreneurial spirit and a new innovative approach to their professional development. The 28 day programme will blend real time business projects with entrepreneurial training with clear goals to develop a range of technical skills and professional attributes. Business professionals will act at mentors alongside the IEP training staff to allow maximum development for the learners. The learners will work within IEP vocational training facility on both the real time business projects, set and mentored by local entrepreneurs and startups and training on entrepreneurship and startup tools and creation. All parties involved with the project will maintain strong communication channels with the selected learners to keep high quality thresholds and impact on those attending the programme. Access to funding will allow long term impacts to learners to enhance key employability skills and potential new business creation through innovation. Learners will be equipped with a new set of skills not previously gained through academic experiences or previous vocational opportunities. Results will see an increase in initiative and confidence within business environments, but will also develop core employability strengths within a vocational setting. There will also be the potential of real time business ideas created and developed whilst on the 28 day DRIVE Programme and will in turn impact on local economy and employment pool. VET Staff The 5 staff will be selected from the current Employability and Innovation Team to further develop their skill sets in delivering innovative vocational training programmes in the field of Employability and Entrepreneurship. The programme will allow staff to develop a new understanding on how to deliver innovative training programmes to benefit learners in unique environments and experiences. The selected staff will join the initial 1st week, which is predominantly focused on developing creativity through entrepreneurial challenges and innovation. The staff will shadow IEP mentors and staff and learn new innovative approaches to teaching business startup and employability skill improvement in a vocational environment. The staff will develop their own understanding and confidence in replicating similar entrepreneurial environments on their return to the UK and their own establishments. IEP will share materials and knowledge to enable the most impact during the 7 day period. The long term benefits may be seen in more innovative approaches to teaching and training methods within domestic VET institutes and new techniques implemented within vocational settings. There is a real opportunity to further develop the 28 day DRIVE Programme as we are looking at a sustainable training model where such innovative projects can be replicated within our own and other training facilities in Cornwall and across Europe. The key strategies of the programme really do fall into line with those set out in the guidance of Erasmus Plus and we fill the innovative approach to developing our learners can have a strong impact on future Erasmus Plus Programmes in the UK and across Europe.
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