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Cultivating entrepreneurship in Finland’s vocational schools

Merja Kyllönen, Member of European Parliament, Finland

Last week, through the JA Back to School initiative, I had the opportunity to visit a vocational secondary school in Kajaani, Finland. It was quite different from my own school time – of which I mostly remember the strict timetables and classrooms. I was very impressed with “YritysAmis” and their emphasis on building entrepreneurial attitudes and cooperative skills. Learning environments have been renewed with the aim to make students more entrepreneurial and less confined to traditional classrooms. 

I was grateful for the possibility to visit with the students as the experience inspired me and opened doors to new ideas. Young people's enthusiasm and excitement are contagious and it was great to see them in action. Moreover, it was wonderful to see how the teachers grew more entrepreneurial alongside their young students - this is how things should be done.

Programmes like this really demonstrate that everyone has potential.  We all need to  learn and we all need advice. We are individuals, and learning is very personal. That’s why learning by doing, a positive attitude and courage are so important!

We should all strive for a strong sense of community and support each other. Let’s challenge ourselves to learn and to develop every day.

The YritysAmis idea is a brilliant initiative and could be duplicated just about anywhere. Trial and error are what shape us as human beings and as members of society. So we should remember, that while sometimes the path might me a bit rocky but if we don’t try, we won’t succeed either.

What do we complain about? Lack of vision for the future? That is not true: we have it in young people. They are daring and have the courage bring positive changes to our communities. The same needs to be transformed into decision-making!

Thank you JA for organising initiatives like this!

Category : JA Europe Network, Entrepreneurship Education, EE-HUB.EU Posted : 6 April 2016 07:40 UTC
About the Author
Merja Kyllönen, Member of European Parliament, Finland

Ms. Merja Kyllönen (born 1977) is a Finnish Member of the European Parliament in the GUE/NGL group. Ms. Kyllönen is an active member in the Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN), a substitute in the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and the co-ordinator of transport issues in her political group. In addition to her work in the committees, she is also a member of the Delegation to the EU-Russia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee, as well as substitute member of the Delegation for relations with Japan.

Ms. Kyllönen is a former Minister for Transport in Finland (2011-2014). During her term as Transport Minister the focus of transport policy was shifted from capacity to customers and a more resource-wise transport system. She started her political career at 19, and has been serving as a councillor in her home town Suomussalmi since 2000. She was a member of the Finnish parliament 2007-2014.

She commutes to Brussels from rural Northern Finland every week and is a heavy user of European transport system. Her ambition is to make transport in Europe smoother, safer and greener. She is the MEP responsible e.g. for European Parliament´s TRAN committee opinion on Digital Single Market strategy  and "Situation on Mediterranean" and a shadow rapporteur for report on Sustainable Urban Mobility among many others.

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