Closing the gap between education and industry

Entrepreneurs are vital for economic growth. This should be reflected in an education system that teaches entrepreneurial skills.

Teaching entrepreneurial skills

Entrepreneurs need an understanding of economic and legal issues, as well as marketing and taxation. They also need to be able to draw up business plans. Educational institutions can respond to these needs, for instance by incorporating entrepreneurial skills into their curriculum or having students follow a course given by a guest lecturer from industry.

Combining studying with running a business

Many students run a business during their studies. Educational institutions can help students by adjusting their programmes, for instance, allowing real-life business assignments to count towards study credits. Or by letting final-year students keep a greater share of the profit from their business, without losing their eligibility for student finance.

Better links between education and the labour market

Education and training should be more responsive to labour market needs. That is why educational institutions and the private sector are working together more closely through organisations like the Education-Business Alliance.

More qualified technicians

Skilled technical workers are in great demand. But they are in short supply. This is especially true in top sectors like life sciences and health, chemicals and high tech. Educational institutions and the private sector are taking steps to get more trained technical workers into the workforce through the following schemes:

  • Technology Pact

    Government, educational institutions, employers, employees and regional authorities have signed up to the Technology Pact. Together, they are working hard to encourage more school leavers to opt for technical education and training.
  • Human capital agendas

    Top sectors have drawn up human capital agendas, describing how demand for and supply of skilled workers will develop in the years ahead. The agendas can be used to help shape vocational and higher professional education in the future.
  • Centres for public-private partnership in vocational education

    The field of secondary vocational education has a number of Centres for Innovative Skills dedicated to improving the links between education and the labour market. For institutions for higher professional education (HBO), these are the Centres of Expertise. The aim is for the centres to develop into international centres of knowledge that attract the most talented students and the best teachers. Partnering with the private sector is a crucial part of this.