On the 20th of November JADE – European Confederation of Junior Enterprises, organised Generations Club 2015 under the theme “An Intergenerational Action Plan on the Entrepreneurial Education & Skill Gap Challenge in Europe”. With this JADE stronger than ever tackled a topic that every student and soon-to- be graduate fears while youth unemployment rates are barely changing since its peak during the economic crisis. Based on JADE’s Generations Report of 2014 –a youth perspective on entrepreneurial skills and JADE’s commitment to the Educational Transformation Agreement signed in 2014 with Microsoft, JADE decided to create in this year a concrete action plan succeeded by several follow-up meetings throughout the next year with its different stakeholders in order to create a truly sustainable solution aiming to help transform Europe into an entrepreneurial society.
The participants, 33 in numbers, focused during the invitation-only event on three of Europe’s hot topics: skills mismatch, youth unemployment, and entrepreneurial education. In interactive and crossgenerational exchange sessions aimed to build bridges between the senior and the junior generation in order to foster an entrepreneurial culture, JADE gave a extraordinary forum to the youth’s and senior’s prospects, trying to diminish the generation gap.
In the unique venue of the Microsoft Innovation Center, the seniors’ view was being represented by company representatives from Covestro, Oracle and Microsoft, representatives of entrepreneurship education programmes such as the Entrepreneurship Experience Programme and the Entrepreneurship Academy, and dedicated members of the European Commission, as Mr. Ballesteros (Head of Startup Europe) and Eurochambres. The junior generation was being advocated through some of the largest youth organisations in Europe, in particular ELSA, AEGEE, EPSA, AIESEC and JADE itself, in order to combine the view of a truly representative scope of Europe’s young people.
The half-day event was divided into 2 sessions:
The 1st session consisted in a roundtable discussion moderateed by Mr. Arnaldo Abruzzini, Secretary General of Eurochambres, about “The Education & Skill Gap Challenge in Europe – What do students and companies truly need nowadays?”. The debate around the misrepresentation of role models making it unattractive to enter STEM study/ working programs and formal education falling behind was touched in this session, while the NGO present were highlighted as best practices to overcome the skill gap, especially when it comes to the nowadays inevitable soft skills.
The 2nd session was introduced by Mrs. Kader Sevinç, EU Representative of CHP/ Founder and Manager of the Turkish Coffee Briefings, on “Confronting the skills mismatch in Europe – transforming Europe in an entrepreneurial society” in form of group discussion. With respect to the previous session, the group discussion focused on the question on how each of the participants, by fostering an entrepreneurial mind-set, develop their members or employees soft skills but also the practice of inevitable hard skills.