Introducing the Entrepreneurial Skills Pass (ESP): A New Certification for JA Cyprus Students


JA Cyprus is proud to announce a new and exciting offering available to students participating in the Company Programme.

As of this year, students will have the chance to obtain the Entrepreneurial Skills Pass (ESP). The Entrepreneurial Skills Pass (ESP) is an international qualification that certifies students (15-19 years old) who have had a real entrepreneurship experience, have gained the necessary knowledge, skills and competences to start a business or to be successfully employed.

ESP includes a full-year in-school student-company experience; a self-assessment of entrepreneurial competences; an examination of business, economic and financial knowledge and the possibility to access further opportunities offered by small and large businesses, top higher institutions and international organisations across Europe. ESP is a certification that students can add to their CV and use to pursue further education, to enter the world of work or to start their own business. For schools and teachers, the ESP is a full package to support entrepreneurial learning outcomes and to provide students with the skills and competencies employers are looking for.

In the light of the last years’ economic turmoil, more than 5.6 million young people under the age of 25 are unemployed. They find themselves in difficult and precarious situations not being able to support a family and lacking the skills to be successfully employed and to contribute to the economic development of their countries. The transition from school into professional life is one of the most challenging moments in life. A competitive job market requires young people to not only possess an excellent qualification but also the ability to apply their skills in the workplace, to be adaptive and to act in an entrepreneurial way. Employers feel the education systems do not instill young people with the skill-set they are looking for. According to recent surveys, the skills mismatch regards important areas ranging from personal and social skills (autonomy, independence, etc.) to the ability to communicate in a foreign language, from soft skills such as working in a team to more specific abilities like managing a project (ERT, 2015).

Entrepreneurship education is among the best insurances against unemployment. It has a broad spectrum of positive impacts from helping young people to be more creative, proactive, opportunity-oriented, and innovative, all the way to increasing the likelihood someone will start a company later. By tackling the issue of what skills students lack versus the skills that they need we can have an impact on the youth unemployment rates in Europe.

This is the reason why the Entrepreneurial Skills Pass aims at providing as many young people as possible with the opportunity to have a practical entrepreneurial experience before they leave school and get a certification that explicitly promotes this kind of competencies and skills. The Entrepreneurial Skills Pass is a forward-looking initiative. It aims at boosting the short and long-term impact of Europe’s entrepreneurship education efforts. Thus, the ESP has benefits for both students, schools, and employers. The ESP certifies that a young person has had a real entrepreneurship experience and has had relevant competencies, skills, and knowledge to add value as a young employee. The ESP is a valuable complement to standard academic qualifications. The main result of the Entrepreneurial Skills Pass project is linked to the development of the certification package, including online training tools for teachers and students.

Students taking part in the 2016-2017 Company Programme are requested to register on the ESP platform, available in English and Greek, and take a free pre-assessment test by 15 November 2016. At the end of the Company Programme, students will be required to take a free post-assessment test. Students who wish to obtain the ESP will be invited to take a written examination at the end of the programme (June-July 2017). There will be a fee for this examination which will be announced at a later date.

• Register on the Greek ESP platform for Cyprus here:

• Register on the English ESP platform for Cyprus here:


For more information on the ESP:




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