TEAC Conference Report Dec. 2015 - Page 14

direction they are taking. After they have successfully assured that all the schools in the country are connected to the Internet, they are now focusing on making technology, ICT and mathematics interesting to pre-school and primary school children. The next challenge will be to introduce such programmes at secondary school level. In terms of non-formal education, researchers are very interested in the blended learning that occurs in social places such as telecentres and other digital inclusion providers. Only when the employers are on board “Telecentres are a unique leaning environment that bring along benefits such as socialising, soft skills and potential for innovation. All of these offer the right mix for young people to learn about skills for employment.” said Maria Garrido from the University of Washington. What about youth as entrepreneurs? 14 A job in sight? Not all agreed on whether entrepreneurs are born or made, but it seemed evident that entrepreneurship will not be the silver bullet for young people and cannot replace the importance of finding and keeping good quality jobs. Questions from the audience were raised on whether we are preparing young people well enough for being entrepreneurs. For some panelists, entrepreneurship is simply another skill, a sort of “super skill” on top of the other employability skills. What is common to all young people, whether they are looking for a job or creating jobs, is the need to develop and practice their self-confidence. For clearly others, born entrepreneurs and not ‘Employer engagement’ is now a buzzword in the world of employability but it should in fact be the reality of all training-for-employment programmes for young people. Courses are only effective when they provide skills that are in demand from the job market. Panelists agreed that there is a lack of information on skills. Young people cannot easily find out (and neither can their parents o r teachers), which skills are in demand. And to make matters more complicated, the demands are changing by the day, making it difficult to predict what technical skills will be needed in the future. are made. “Our task - at the ICT hub in Belgrade, but also of society in general, is to recognise entrepreneurs as such and help them learn about concrete business skills so they can turn their ideas into businesses and employ people.” said Kosta Andric from ICT Hub Belgrade. Employability was defined by one speaker as a process, rather than an outcome. However, another participant in the panel reminded the audience that the process should result in an actual job for it to be successful. What matters in any employability oriented training or project is that the young person finds work at the end. We need to have a holistic approach and never lose that objective from view: a young person in the workforce.