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EACEA National Policies Platform


3. Employment & Entrepreneurship

3.8 Development of entrepreneurship competence

Last update: 28 November 2023
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  1. Policy Framework
  2. Formal learning
  3. Non-formal and informal learning
  4. Educators support in entrepreneurship education

Policy Framework

Sustainable development is one of the key pillars of the Regional Development Concept (Regionales Entwicklungskonzept, REK). This considers in particular projects developing the German-speaking Community as a region for the economy and projects investing in education, vocational training and youth work. With regard to the economy, there are projects planned which foster innovation and projects that tackle “housekeeping with nature”. These projects clearly have a connotation of entrepreneurship and sustainable development. Regarding youth work and non-formal and informal learning, the future project “youth is future” can be highlighted. It contains the reformation of training and further training of young people and youth leaders as well as the establishment of a new framework for youth policy which has been achieved with the new decree on funding for youth work (Dekret zur Förderung der Jugendarbeit). This decree entered into force on the 1st of January 2012. Main objective is to foster young people’s inclusion and active participation.

Formal learning

Harmonization and systematization of the vocational-technical education and “Mittelständischen Ausbildung”

The main objective is to promote interchange between vocational training in vocational and technical secondary education and training in the dual education.

The vocational-technical education is an important part of secondary education in the German-speaking Community, which integrates in particular two schools: the Robert Schuman Institute (Robert-Schuman-Institut, RSI) in the north and the Technical Institute of the Episcopal School (Bischöfliche Schule Technisches Institut, BSTI) in the south and the affiliated part-time education centres (Teilzeitunterricht, TZU). Many courses offered in vocational-technical education can be found at the same time in the “mittelständischen” teaching, so that there are several parallel deals that need to be examined on the currently progressing interchange and tested for their actual need or in terms of building on each other of vocational education system that must be realigned.

Infrastructure, teaching materials and the expertise of teachers and companies have to be used together. With the major infrastructure projects of the government, the so-called PPP, the school learning sites of the Center for Training and Further Education of Medium-Sized Businesses (Zentrum für Aus- und Weiterbildung des Mittelstandes, ZAWM) and the vocational-technical instruction (RSI) have moved together on a shared campus in Eupen. In St. Vith, the workshops of BSTI and ZAWM are also shared and equipped together. These conditions promote the material and personal cooperation of both training systems. This should be followed by a review of the structure and organization of the various authorities to use existing resources together and efficiently and to create new synergies. This includes to determine who will be responsible for the new concepts or the concepts to be revised.

Transversal Key Competences, Entrepreneurship Education, e-Literacy, Media Literacy, Innovative Learning Environments

By the transition from school to training it is to be observed that not all young people reach the primary school certification or the upper secondary school certification and thus do not have the necessary academic training maturity. Others have deficits in social skills or have vague ideas of their career choice. For them, the transition to the professional training is difficult, because sufficiently basic school skills, concrete ideas of professional intentions, motivation and ability to integrate into an operational learning environment are provided. Both the novice into vocational and the novice into technical professional education must be offered adequate incentives at the transition from general education to professional education, because it is not only a social obligation but also an economic must to qualify all young people for the labour market.

For this project, a detailed analysis of the problem of this critical transition must be performed and new programs should be developed and implemented.

The co-existence of school and dual vocational training in the German-speaking Community offers young people two ways to reach vocational skills and a certification. In order to enable the transition from one training system to another during training without friction, learning outcomes and professional skills have to be mutually recognized. Because now a requirement in almost all professions is to combine good theoretical knowledge with informal practices, professional technical education and dual teaching can complement each other. As vocational training careers aren’t necessarily linear and natively, so-called Konnex rules are used, leading to the shortening of the training when appropriate academic knowledge is attained. These rules need to be further developed and expanded on the transition from vocational professional training in the master training. First steps to permeability, such as the issuing of the certificate 6B for medium apprentices by the Institute for Training and Further Education of Medium-Sized Businesses (Institut für Aus- und Weiterbildung des Mittelstandes, IAWM), have been taken. Thereby apprentices can first obtain a secondary education certification and a full recognition of their operational learning achievements. However, to achieve higher education, a 7B year must be completed successfully in vocational education. Deals of the 7B must be adapted to the needs of the journeyman, as full-day courses aren’t compatible with their professional life. These offers may not be limited to professional skills that already most of the trainees possess. To meet the needs of colleges and universities, a specific offer must be created to prepare graduates for higher education.

Non-formal and informal learning

No specific policy measures or large-scale public initiatives to encourage young people to develop entrepreneurial skills and attitutes through youth work and volunteering exist in the German-speaking Community.

Educators support in entrepreneurship education

No specific policy measures or large-scale public initiatives providing facilities to support educators in entrepreneurship education exist in the German-speaking Community.