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Vocational Enterprise StartUp Programme Ireland
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The innovative two-week Vocational Enterprise StartUp Programme Ireland (VESPI) is an exciting mobility addressing the core entrepreneurial goals of the key stakeholders of the consortium (including learners, staff & institutions) as well as wider UK and European targets as highlighted in Lord Young’s Enterprise for All in the UK and the EU Commission’s 2020 Entrepreneurship Plan. The VESPI mobility aims to take 60 learners (aged 15-24) enrolled on BTEC Business and Enterprise Courses (Extended Diploma and Level 3/5) and develop the 3 main pillars of their entrepreneurial mind-sets (creative problem solving, initiative and confidence in leadership) through vocational training in the startup business cycle and elements of work experience at an innovative co-work space in the top entrepreneurial city in Europe - Dublin. The consortium was developed through a shared commitment to develop more entrepreneurial activity in education as well as an aligned European Development Plan that would positively impact the key shareholders. The UK consortium is made up of 4 sending organisations, including Homewood School, York College, Huddersfield New College and Wigan & Leigh College (all of whom have begun movements to create more vocational and enterprising opportunities for learners and staff) and Corkscrew StartUp School, the lead applicant and VET organisation focusing on developing entrepreneurship within education. The consortium and receiving partners in Ireland (IEP & GEC) will use the EU mobility as a way to develop standards and practices that can be used for future partnerships. The mobility will increase the European dimensions of the consortium and will allow further submissions in following years to increase the opportunities for learners across multiple disciplines. Whilst the consortium members and partners have clear objectives on an institutional basis, the main focus of the mobility is on the selected learners and how the unique experience will allow them to develop critical core competencies in their professional and personal development, ultimately leading to them becoming more entrepreneurial & employable. The vocational training is focused on key practices in the creation, launch and operations of a startup business including relevant technical skills such as business development, marketing, web creation and lean startup methodology. The training is directly related to their course curriculum in the UK and, through the ECVET framework, will allow the transfer of credits onto specific modules. In respect of the real time work experience (from the startup business located at the GEC cowork space) the learners will get first hand work experience within true startups that will boost relevant tech skills and other core competencies for increased employability options and entrepreneurial understanding. By working in Dublin (one of the top startup cities in the world and the best in Europe) they will get an unrivaled experience to further develop startup understanding and qualities through tangible new enterprise experiences. The third key stakeholder to highlight is that of the accompanying staff from the three sending organisations within the consortium. It is these key staff that will assess, evaluate and ultimately implement the learnings of the mobility to have the targeted impact of introducing more entrepreneurial activity within education. Staff will work closely with all stakeholders of the mobility from consortium members, receiving partners and learners in validating the entire lifetime of the project and how best to influence curriculum, not only within the selected BTEC Business and Enterprise courses, but the institutions as a whole. The staff will be instrumental in assisting future mobilities and enhancing entrepreneurship in education, again in line with UK and EU proposals. It is important that the VESPI Mobility is an operational success, therefore the consortium has spent time and effort in developing a clear methodology to carry out the project, from understanding all stakeholders needs and impacts and also a project life-cycle appraisal from preparation to completion (including recruitment, learner agreements, delivery, assessment, evaluation and dissemination). It has also been important to ensure clear MoUs with all relevant parties to ensure clear guidelines during the implementation of the mobility. We envisage that the results received from the VESPI mobility will have an impact on the learners’ professional and personal development and on the staff’s potential in delivering higher value course structure in the UK with EU dimensions. We also feel the impact will be felt at institutional level as we gain interest in future EU mobility partnerships and opportunities. Our partners in Ireland will also benefit from working with us in the mobility as they increase abilities in the delivery of key vocational training and work elements within the field of entrepreneurship.
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