I need your company and your company needs me
The number of unemployed youths and early school leavers is constantly rising in most European countries while at the same time many European companies are facing a shortage of skilled labor. To counteract both of these alarming tendencies, several attempts have been made to open the European market for young people. With our project “Accompany me!” we want to follow up the idea of attracting students not only for their national labour market, but also widen their view for the international market. As high youth unemployment rates reflect the difficulties faced by young people in finding jobs we want to prepare the ground for both students and companies for a collaboration that will have an impact not only on their future but also on their motivation to continue school and not to leave it too early.
The idea of “Accompany me!” is to bridge the gap between the worlds of education and work through collaboration between schools and companies. We will motivate the students to work in national and international teams solving a realistic and practical task given by different companies. After working on the tasks for three days, they will prepare a presentation of their products and results. During the whole process, and in between meetings, the teams will communicate via skype, email and other chat-programs. Furthermore, they will have to document their progress, their thoughts and their methods of resolution on a blog. The use of different media such as photos and filmed documentation is encouraged and desireable. The teachers and mentors of the participating companies will monitor and support the teams consisting of a maximum of five students (one country each). As a matter of course each team will have at least one student from the hosting country. As the conception of “Accompany me!” puts the focus on practical skills in different fields (industry, health and social care, service and tourism, trade and craft, agriculture) and the companies’ tasks will vary, students (aged 14-17) of all levels can be included.
Our project, “Accompany me!”, is based on the entrepreneurial ideas and methodology. Entrepreneurship is suggested as a method in the curriculum of all participating countries, and we wish to enlarge the emphasis on this method through cooperation with other countries. This will also give both the students and the teachers a valuable insight into the European working market.
The students will also improve their key competences, namely meeting challenges, solving problems, expressing themselves verbally and in writing, reading, mathematics, social science and using digital tools. All comunication will be in English, so the development of language skills will be significant.
The teachers and the community will contribute to raise the students ability for self-motivated learning, fostering the process of “learning to learn” as a way to improve academic skills, gain personal growth and increase motivation.
With our project, the students will become aware of the differences and similarities between various companies in Europe. We believe the students will be more tolerant and respectful towards people in different kinds of professions, and will build bridges between cultures.
Contributing to the development of learning, strategies that encourage students to give their personal opinions with autonomy and decision capacity stimulates their creativity and critical thinking.
In the long run we also hope this project will lead to a lower drop-out rate. But not only students will benefit from “Accompany me!”. This also goes for the companies that get the chance to establish a cooperation with the participating schools, which at best leading to permanent jobs for skilled laborers.
Concerning the teachers, we will start a collection of tasks based on the entrepreneurial and practical method and establish an exchange of well-tried tasks for the subjects math and social science.
We will evaluate the process during the whole project. The results will be published as a blog on the project’s web page.
In developing a better matching between skills and labor market needs, “Accompany me!” will promote a better anticipation of future skills needs.