Life Skills – Learning and Innovation through Foreign languages and Entrepreneurship Skills
LIFE SKILLS is a project authored by a danish company named CONEQT, the same company that is responsable for coordinating the project and insuring the quality of the results.
The project intends to produce an innovative approach to addressing the needs for middle and high school education. In cooperation with Brejning Efterskole, Oesterbydskolen and Fonden for Entrepreneurskab – Young Enterprise from Denmark, AKTO – Arts and Krafts Technologies from Portugal, the College de Grand Bourg, Caribsat and The Mayor of Grand Bourg, from the French Carribbean Island of Marie Galante in Guadeloupe.
Due to the challenges of the modern world, whether you have a university degree or no education at all, it has become increasingly difficult to follow traditional routes to finding a place in society, and as a result, new measures are called for.
A new era is upon us, and the youths of today need to be prepared for a different life than their parents did.
Unemployment is becoming an increasingly bigger problem in most EU countries. Increased opportunities need to be created, by providing a different route to success, whether it is in becoming architects or bricklayers. The soaring numbers of youth unemployment rates are a big problem. In Portugal Feb. 2014; 35% of youths are unemployed (http://ycharts.com/indicators/portugal_youth_unemployment_rate_lfs), in Guadeloupe the number is closing in on a stunning 60% of youths between the ages of 15 and 25 and in Denmark the youth unemployment rate has risen from 4,2% in 2008 to 12,4% in 2014, (http://www.ae.dk/analyser/ledighed-de-unge-er-haardest-ramt-af-krisen)and the number of non western immigrants receiving unemployment benefits are at a shocking 23%. (http://denkorteavis.dk/2014/mere-end-hver-fjerde-indvandrere-er-pa-kontanthjaelp-mange-sender-pengene-ud-af-landet/)
Due to an alarmingly high number of unemployed youths, especially those with ethnical, non western backgrounds, it is imperative that something is done to change the downward spiral. There is an inherent need to modernise education, in order to become more in line with the needs of today’s society,equipping it with more creative, flexible and entrepreneurial young people, hence better prepared for the challenges of today’s ever changing work environment. EU has agreed that at least 40 % of young people in the EU should have a university-level qualification by 2020. To achieve this, taking into consideration the economic crisis, unemployment, changing demographics, the emergence of new competitors, new technologies and modes of working, we will need to cooperate across borders and “become more outward-looking, more innovative, and to put our societies on a sustainable footing for the future”. (http://ec.europa.eu/education/library/reports/modernisation_en.pdf)
With the onset of the digital era having overcome our society, virtual learning and teaching issues need to be addressed. The rise of technology needs to be implemented in the classrooms. Most educators are no doubt very familiar with most elements of online tools available, which should be becoming more and more present in Pre K-12 classrooms. However, in general, the increasing abundance of resources and relationships made easily accessible via the Internet are not seeing much, if any time in the current learning environment. We need to develop teachers’ competences to become more knowledgeable of these incredible new options. so tomorrow’s workers can be prepared for and take advantage of the technological progress available to them. (http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/HR2011.pdf)
The project intends to produce an innovative approach to addressing the needs for middle and high school education.
In cooperation with two schools from Denmark, one from Portugal and one from Guadeloupe, coupled with SME’s, the project will produce innovative student centered and student generated training programs, in line with the amelioration of student success rates in education, especially with focus on students from multicultural areas of our societies, that are stigmatised by a negative social inheritance and low academical success rates.
The implementation of these innovative practices will aim at taking place at local, regional, national and European levels.
The core idea of the project and activities will be to give the students, through democratic processes, on the spot experience and to create environments in the participants’ local communities where an array of activities, grounded in the idea of self help and organisation, will enhance and create an environment where best practices and ideas for start-ups are possible, dealing with disadvantaged groups as well as giving the opportunity to taking social, linguistic and cultural diversity and making it an asset for the communities.
Synergies with organisations from the community, who wish to work with opportunities to develop innovation and support the idea of young entrepreneurs, will assist us in developing an international, intercultural social network, linking different socio-economic sectors to each other and help improve levels of skills for employability and new business creation (including social entrepreneurship), and be actively involved in their local communities, stretching out to receive students from partner countries and local area, increasing access to the labour market and a European network. This will also make it easier for youths to seek inspiration in other countries and the possibilities the use of foreign languages and “multiculturality” brings with it, thus adding emphasis on the value of European projects and creating links between businesses and communities.
What is LIFE SKILLS?
LIFE SKILLS is an educational project financed by Erasmus +, aimed at promoting mobility of young people.
The skills are;
- Ability for an individual to develop his or her specific strengths
- Open mindedness – thinking out of the box
- The ability to break the norm
- To achieve success in spite of social background
- Self confidence and entrepreneurship
Who is involved and where is it happening?
The project consortium consists of three European countries, and is based on collaboration between companies, institutions and schools.
The partners in the project are from Marie Galante (France), Denmark and Portugal.
The duration of the project is 2 years, started in September 2014.
Products of LIFE SKILLS
The project is producing easily accessible online learning resources for a new way of learning through foreign language. The focus of the material is based on a “learning by doing”, “learning through cultures” and “international cooperation” approach.
It intends to share knowledge and create positive experiences through this collaboration between schools, institutions and companies. The products will result in an online guidebook for educators, freely available for download on the project website.
The products will be available in English, French, Danish and Portuguese.
Workshops for educators will be provided for the widespread implementation of the methodology.
Results of LIFE SKILLS?
LIFE SKILLS anticipates to provide youths with the necessary tools in order to become creators and managers of their own destiny.
The project will give us the tools to be able to start introducing the entrepreneurship approach into the curricula of the partner countries, creating a snowball effect.
The results of the project is systematically teach youths to think out of the box by thoroughly and transversally introducing innovation of education to all subjects throughout the teaching system, and enhancing the need for a greater focus on the importance of foreign languages.
As a result we will reduce youth unemployment rates.
Why is LIFE SKILLS important?
A degree in itself is not enough to guarantee employment; the challenges of the modern world have created a need for a new mind-set and tools, such as the ones generated through the LIFE SKILLS project.