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Edited by G. Page West III, Elizabeth J. Gatewood and Kelly G. Shaver
Chapter 7: Entrepreneurship Education: Meeting the Skills Needs of Graduates in Ireland
7 Entrepreneurship education: meeting the skills needs of graduates in Ireland Briga Hynes, Michele O’Dwyer and Naomi Birdthistle Introduction Educators, including universities, ‘have an obligation to meet students’ expectations with regard to preparation for the economy in which they will operate’ (Galloway et al., 2005: 1–14). Educational institutions need to ensure that they respond to this obligation by preparing graduates to engage in a more enterprising and innovative manner, thereby adding value to the business in which they work. The needs and structure of the work environment are constantly changing. Of particular note is the change in the composition and profile of the size of firms (Hynes and Richardson, 2007). On a Europeanwide scale there is an increasing emergence of the small firm as a key component of the industrial profile of countries. This is very evident in Ireland where it was estimated, in 2003, that the number of small firms was approximately 186,114, an increase of 16,114 over a three-year period since 2000 (Revenue Commissioners Statistical Unit, 2003). Given this, embedding enterprise across the population through education programmes is a central element of policy across the world (Martin, 2006). Such policy initiatives promote the need to ensure that graduates are familiar with, and equipped to work effectively in such an environment. In addition, there is a need to provide enterprise education for graduates who are interested in acquiring the knowledge and skills to become entrepreneurs. This chapter addresses the manner in which a University of Limerick...
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