The COVID-19 pandemic is intensifying gaps between those who do and do not have access to jobs or education. Furthermore, disrupted labour markets have resulted in a decreased hiring, which affects especially youth and those already disadvantaged.  Girls and women in particular will face challenges in returning to work after the pandemic, with studies suggesting that fewer women than men will regain employment during the COVID-19 recovery. Given the turmoil and uncertainty, there is a need for supporting job creation. One way to support young people to overcome the risk of un- and underemployment is to develop their entrepreneurial skills and mindsets. TVET can play an important role in boosting entrepreneurial learning and job creation. 

About the program:

In 2022 Omnia Education Partnerships was in charge of designing and implementing the UNESCO-UNEVOC capacity-building program Entrepreneurial Learning for Disadvantaged Youth. The program aimed at building the capacities of teachers and managers of formal and non-formal institutions, to develop entrepreneurial learning programs for disadvantaged youth. The capacity-building program was a combination of weekly online workshops, self- studying via the online learning platform, as well as peer learning assignments in institution-based groups.

The five-week long capacity-building programme consisted of the following four modules: Knowledge, Mindset, Skills and Reflect, and combined both synchronous and asynchronous learning. The Knowledge module provided the required knowledge to understand what entrepreneurial learning is, and what are the benefits and advantages of entrepreneurial learning for disadvantaged youth. The Mindset module focused on equipping the participants with skills leading to a more entrepreneurial mindset. The Skills module focused on capacitating the TVET institutions with required skills to design, develop, implement, and monitor entrepreneurial learning. During the Reflect module the participants presented the entrepreneurial interventions designed during the programme. Assessment took place throughout the program.

Figure 1: Structure of the Entrepreneurial Learning for Disadvantaged Youth program

Entrepreneurial Learning for Disadvantaged Youth program followed the cyclic “OEP approach”: first the participants received new knowledge during interactive workshops (LEARN), then applied this information in their own operational environment (APPLY) by using the tools provided by the OEP trainers. After the first two stages in the cycle, the participants moved on to analysing the outcomes of the Apply period  (REFLECT), and reflected the lessons learnt in three different ways: 1. individually, 2. in dialogue with their colleagues, and 3. by receiving feedback from the OEP trainers. Finally, the participants developed the chosen approach further (DEVELOP) based on their analysis / reflections, before moving on to the next LEARN, APPLY, REFLECT & DEVELOP cycle.

Figure 2: LEARN, APPLY, REFLECT & DEVELOP – the OEP approach

The piloting capacity-building programme gathered together over 40 TVET managers and teachers from six countries and thirteen TVET institutions in total around the world: Indonesia, Philippines, Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, Mauritius. The participants learned together how to enhance the entrepreneurial mindset and skills among disadvantaged youth, and bring them back into the economic mainstream, while also giving them a sense of meaning and belonging.

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“The training was an eye-opener and equipped me with invaluable skills on how to deal with disadvantaged youths.”

Demonstration video about the online learning platform of Entrepreneurial Learning for Disadvantaged Youth program.

“The training widened my way how to seek opportunities and I learned that the most neglected areas could be the ones with greatest opportunities.”

“I learnt so much from my colleagues from other countries and noted that they face equal challenges as we do and we all have equal opportunities in building entrepreneurship among the disadvantaged youths.”

“The overall training, including its modules, learning materials, and activities conducted were able to meet the objective of imparting knowledge about the significance of entrepreneurial learning for the disadvantaged youth and value social inclusion in all the stages of project design, planning and implementation”

“The weekly webinar/online workshops were facilitated by very knowledgeable experts who were to help the participants engage in meaningful discussions about the subject matter. “

Entrepreneurial Learning for Disadvantaged Youth program gathered participants from six countries around the world: Indonesia, Philippines, Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, Mauritius