PenNed: the Dutch central office of EUROPEN-PEN

PenNed is the Dutch representative of EUROPEN-PEN International, a not-for-profit association which administrates the worldwide practice enterprises network. PenNed sponsors the practice enterprise network in the Netherlands through information (e.g. this website), training and support. 

EUROPEN-PEN International supports a worldwide network of over 7,500 Practice Enterprises in schools, colleges, universities, vocational training institutions, companies and training centres in over 40 countries around the world, providing a unique approach to business skills training to more than 200,000 trainees each year. 

PenNed is a Stichting Praktijkleren initiative, a Dutch provider of learning and examination materials for vocational training programs.

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Erasmus+ Project

Many young people experience the transition from education to professional practice as problematic.

Vocational education is not realistic and authentic and does not adequately prepare students for work in an internship company or on the labour market. Students lack the necessary skills to work in a company. This mainly concerns entrepreneurship and 21st-century skills (such as cooperation, information skills, problem solving skills and communication).

This can lead to demotivation and insecurity among students and even lead to early school leaving.  It is proven that the Practice enterprise methodology is a solution to demotivation, early school leaving and negative experiences with education leading to large numbers of ESL or Neets.

A Practice Enterprise (also known as a practice firm or virtual enterprise) is a virtual company that runs like a real business, silhouetting real business procedures in companies, products and services. A practice enterprise resembles a real company in its form, organization and function. Each Practice Enterprise trades with other Practice Enterprises worldwide, in accordance with commercial business procedures in the Practice Enterprise environment.

The project Practice enterprise Network contributes to two goals:

  1. Reducing and preventing ESL in vocational education and to reduce the number of NEETs  by using the Practice Enterprise methodology in all countries where this methodology is used.
  2. Develop a model of innovative measures in order to ensure that the methodology remains future proof.

It is necessary  to adapt the PE concept to the new business realities.

The project is a partnership of organisations in Europe engaged in VET education. Two National offices of the worldwide Practice Enterprise network (Fundacio Inform and Connectief) and two Dutch VET schools (Gilde opleidingen and Roc Nijmegen). The world-wide organised network Europen International is also part of the consortium and also Stichting Praktijkleren as applicant of the project. Stichting Praktijkleren provides practical learning in VET schools in the Netherlands in economic and commercial education.

In the project we exchange good practices, including good practice learning and coaching in Practice Enterprises, by developing educational resources, develop manuals and a model for  implementing PEs and also establishing a National Central Office in the Netherlands. We investigate necessary measures to adapt the methodology of Practice Enterprises to future innovations and changes in businesses.

We expect that through these activities the network of partners and network members will grow substantially and improve the knowledge and competences of future professionals in the field of practical education in the economic sector and in this way contribute to preventing ESL and give support to Neets in order to increase the number of Neets.