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Innovations in enterprise education: using community access points to overcome socio-cultural barriers to self-employability amongst groups vulnerable to social exclusion

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Conference paperpeer-review

Publication date2015
<mark>Original language</mark>English
EventWork 2015 - University of Turku, Turku, Finland
Duration: 19/08/201521/08/2015


ConferenceWork 2015


This paper will explore the findings of the EU-LLP funded Eliemental Project with regard to delivering effective enterprise education to socially disadvantaged groups using innovative modes of community-based action learning networks based around Community Access Points (CAPs). Our work on Community Access Points (CAPS) was fully qualitative and took a collaborative approach to data collection with participants acting as co-researchers, and undertaking field work for the project. The inclusion of a wide variety of stakeholders from the planning stages onwards was critical in allowing us to develop acceptable and effective research methods within a participatory action research framework so as to access difficult to reach target groups. Our work on CAPS with volunteer co-researchers from our target groups led to the important finding that for many in groups vulnerable to social exclusion education and training requires an informal setting that is easily accessible. Our participants often do not have reliable Internet access or the skills to make use of the Internet, and lack of confidence means that our target groups do not make use of the more formal provision for education such as second-chance schools, libraries or vocational training. With our co-researchers we were able to identify local places that were accessible, such as a bakery with attached café, a youth music centre at the heart of a deprived community, a drop-in centre and a covered market. These community places are central to delivering materials to our target groups, and to offering informal support to participants. The identification and use of relevant CAPS is an important innovation in the delivery of education and training to groups vulnerable to social exclusion. The paper will discuss how CAPS can be effectively identified in a wide range of settings and will explore how new models of enterprise education can be developed based upon the findings of the Eliemental project.