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The SIVSEN Social Enterprise Programme Framework, piloted in Plymouth, UK

City College Plymouth and Plymouth Social Enterprise Network organized a local workshop for social entrepreneurs and higher education representatives to introduce them to the SIVSEN Social Enterprise Programme Framework.


SIVSEN Social Enterprise Programme Framework is a guide for organising valuable work experiences for students in social enterprises. The framework proposes collaboration among three key actors, assigning them some overall aims and responsibilities:

  1. The Social Enterprise Network  – Employers: encourage/enable VET/HE organisations to work more effectively to internationalise their work experience programme through an accredited provision in sectors that belong to the “new economy” and “social innovation” where an educational approach is missing.
  2. Work placement participants – Students: Participants undertaking the programme and experiencing the positive impacts that participation will have on their professional/personal development with an international experience.
  3. The Facilitator or Broker – Vocational Education and Training (VET)/Higher Education (HE) educators: build competences/understanding of SEN opportunities and a positive attitude towards embedding EU values, reducing the distance between this sector and the educational world through providing meaningful working experiences to participants whilst, developing their networks and internationalisation.

Explore the Social Enterprise SIVSEN Framework Programme here.

During the SIVSEN workshop, organized in April 2022, six social enterprises and six areas of the college were represented in the room. The workshop activities were designed and delivered to:

  • Make the participants familiar with the SIVSEN guide for work experience in social enterprise;
  • Provide them with some examples, ideas, and contacts for work experience opportunities relevant to their organisations;
  • Prepare the participants to use one of the guide modules in their organisations. 



The participants also provided valuable feedback to the SIVSEN partners for the framework, directly supporting the further development of the proposed programme. At the same time, they had the opportunity to connect and talk about reasons, advantages, and ways of connecting their work and networks. 

Finally, the social enterprises and the college’s representatives discussed and identified key benefits for the learners participating in such work experiences in the social economy sector. For instance, they all agreed that the students would gain novel experiences in social enterprises not prevalent in ‘mainstream’ business, e.g. emphasis on wellbeing in the workplace, enabling social impact through business, experiencing democratic organisation structures. At the same time, such work experiences would enable students to explore their own values and true vocation and helping to shape career direction before making key professional decisions.

Explore the Social Enterprise SIVSEN Framework Programme here.