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InnoOmnia, in the city of Espoo, Finland, was founded in 2011. It is the first multi-sector vocational education centre in Finland where entrepreneurs may run their businesses jointly with students and teachers. Work and vocational education are part of a blended learning approach. One of the key aims of the programme is to improve the appeal of vocational education, and to offer “21st century learning” opportunities.
1. Entrepreneurship support for current and aspiring entrepreneurs, primarily in arts and crafts or the service sectors.
2. Work-based/on-the-job learning programmes
3. Innovation and piloting of new teaching methods in the context of vocational education, g, e.g. gamification, mobile learning, entrepreneurial teaching methods
4. Teacher and school leader professional development for K-12 and vocational sectors
In 2011, InnoOmnia introduced work experience and entrepreneurial opportunities to address the 60% drop out rate of 16 – 19 year olds.
InnoOmnia aims to combat youth unemployment, and to make vocational education more appealing. To achieve this, the school provides teacher and school leader training and professional development for teaching of 21st century competences, including entrepreneurship. Innovation is also a priority.
• Encouraging entrepreneurship to help combat unemployment
• Improving the image of VET, with the use of modern technology, real-world learning, innovative teaching and learning methods
• Supporting teachers’ professional development to teach 21st century competences
• Providing on-the-job experience
• Supporting sustainability of start-ups through community collaboration and support.
Each student develops, with their teachers, a personalised learning plan incorporating work experience as part of daily studies. The students, teachers and local entrepreneurs collaborate to help their businesses succeed. The school is described as a community, with everyone considered as both “learner and teacher”. There are formal and informal networking opportunities to support this type of collaboration.