|Lead:||Nic Preston, SFEDI Awards, UK|
Using EntreComp to unlock potential – reform and rehabilitation using entrepreneurial education
Supporting rehabilitation of offenders in the UK
To support the rehabilitation of prisoners and the reduction of reoffending rates, SFEDI – the awarding body for enterprise in the UK – sought to create the UK’s first set of enterprise and employment qualifications based on the IOEE National Enterprise Standards  and the EntreComp framework.
In 2016 SFEDI released the Passport to Enterprise and Employment suite of qualifications that are now being delivered within multiple prisons across England and are soon to be released in Wales. The first set of learners will complete and feedback but the impact so far has been encouraging. The team coordinating this entrepreneurial curriculum across UK prisons, working with prisoners of all ages, seek to:
- Build self-awareness and self-belief
- Help to reduce re-offending rates on release from prison
- Build a sense of ethical thinking and community spirit
Addressing all competences, prioritising self-efficacy, ethical thinking and coping with uncertainty
The subject of enterprise and entrepreneurship can be difficult to engage with if you don’t have prior knowledge and experience as it is not always a quantifiable thing. For offenders it can be a vital subject to support their development and help produce a more cohesive and productive society. Having a guide/benchmark is important to support those new to the subject to engage in an informed way, to either develop themselves or others by underpinning their learning journey with a standardised and evidence-based approach. This is what EntreComp provided for the Passport to Enterprise and Employment programme.
Through the embedding of wider enterprise and entrepreneurial abilities, behaviours, knowledge and skills, SFEDI offer a flexible learning programme that meets the needs of diverse learners. It helps personal development as well as encouraging the development of a community/society mind-set.
EntreComp helps to standardise these on a European-wide scale, complementing national standards set by the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs (IOEE), a professional body in the UK. SFEDI benchmarked both the IOEE National Enterprise Standards and the EntreComp framework to highlight the main subjects/points to include within the qualifications. These were then used to underpin the development process and consultations that took place to finalise the products prior to release. Basing the qualification on EntreComp and IOEE provides clear evidence to both learners and other stakeholders of the best practice in this approach.
Positive feedback from both learners and the education community
Feedback from multiple prisons is very encouraging, with learners commenting that they feel prepared for both employment or self-employment on release. Comments also included how useful the subjects had been in building their own sense of worth. These qualifications were shortlisted as a finalist for the Federation of Awarding Bodies Qualification of the Year Award 2017 in the UK. The Federation of Awarding Bodies (FAB) is the trade association representing over 125 organisations that award vocational qualifications in the UK and over 20 stakeholder organisations.
Looking to the future
Research will track learners post-release over a period of time to see the impact of the qualifications, but this will be a long period of research due to the nature of the individuals and the environment they are currently in.
Having used EntreComp to support the development of vocational and higher qualifications, this approach will be expanded into multiple environments, with a focus on youth groups and unemployed support.