STOB regions' Slovenian partner, Business Support Centre Ltd, Kranj, held a regional steering committee steering on 10th April to discuss the  hot topic of "Lack of suitable staff/successors" currently facing the region.

Twenty regional and national level stakeholders met to discuss and exchange ideas relating to this issue facing the Gorenjska region in Slovenia. This issue is not unique to the region and is currently high on the agenda for many European regions. Representatives from Gorenjska region's secondary education sector and local entrepreneurs discussed the topic of improving the collaborative approach between education and industry.  

Providing background to the regional challenge; It is expected that in the Gorenjska region 27,000 people will retire within the next three years, however the potential "next generation" currently enrolled in high school totals only 17,000 people. Where will the region find the the remainder? How to create conditions to birth a new generation of suitable entrepreneurs and successors? What methods and policies are available to bridge the gap?

The committee discussed the following challenges: how an inclusive immigration policy would assist in increasing the availability of potential successors, tweaking education programs for the inherent needs of the economy in a expedited and responsive way, how to address the growing challenge of economic migration to neighboring countries. In addition, the topic of understanding the motivating factors behind the younger generation to establish or take over a business where discussed.

Based on the issue at hand, the committee concluded the top priority to improve the regional and national level link between education and industry requires entrepreneurial thinking and training to be introduced already at the early education stage. To achieve this, various methods were proposed, such as the initiation of learning soft skill of entrepreneurship during primary level education ( through activity based learning, problem solving etc.) as well as incorporating a work training placement during secondary stage education.

STOB regions recent interregional partner meeting in Plovdiv, Bulgaria discussed and developed the theme of "different target groups of potential buyers". To gain a deeper insight on the challenges and learning exchange regarding the event click here.