Business skills, particularly in the areas of science, engineering and technology (SET) and small firm development are becoming increasingly important. The vocational skills student learns can be augmented by an understanding of how business operates as well as an appreciation that enterprise skills can be applied within an organisation i.e. acting as an “intrapreneur”. Universities prepare students for many of the “professions” such as medicine, engineering, law and accountancy. Many other disciplines such as healthcare, social sciences and the sciences also require a professional attitude to be adopted. However, new graduates generally begin their post‐university career in a form of apprenticeship where their professional skills are developed, often via a pre‐registration period before achieving, for example, for engineers, chartered status. After that stage is reached, and with a few years work experience, they may move on to form practices or partnerships of their own. Based on the principle that business skills development, particularly in the SET disciplines, is likely to have a positive impact on the competitiveness of existing SET organisations, as well as encourage the creation of new, innovative knowledge firms, this paper aims to document the experience of introducing and embedding entrepreneurship education into vocational disciplines at Heriot‐Watt University, with a key objective being to provide a model which other institutions may find useful.
Management Decision – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 1, 2004
Keywords: Skills; Business environment; Vocational training; Entrepreneurialism; Scotland
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