Schools and businesses urged to work closer together to equip youngsters with entrepreneurial skills to succeed

Lord Young, the prime minister's enterprise advisor has published his Enterprise for All report detailing how the education system can help give youngsters entrepreneurial skills Lord Young, the prime minister's enterprise advisor has published his Enterprise for All report detailing how the education system can help give youngsters entrepreneurial skills

Thursday, June 19, 2014
5:27 PM

Schools and businesses need to work together to bridge the divide between the classroom and the world of work to equip youngsters with the entrepreneurial skills to succeed - according to a new report.

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Kevin Horne, NWES chief executive, at Rouen House in Norwich. Photo: Bill SmithKevin Horne, NWES chief executive, at Rouen House in Norwich. Photo: Bill Smith

Former government minister Lord Young today published his Enterprise for All blueprint setting out how to foster an entrepreneurial spirit among young people from primary school through to undergraduates.

The 47 page report highlights a range of initiatives currently taking place throughout the education system- including the work of the Gazelle Colleges, which includes City College Norwich, which encourage students to set up and run their own enterprises as part of their courses.

And it also recommended that local enterprise partnerships, such as New Anglia, should oversee a programme of ‘enterprise advisors’ drawn from local businesses and other organisations who can work with schools and colleges.

• Click here to read the Enterprise for All report

Lord Young said that the demise of the job-for-life culture with larger firms had transformed the labour market with young people likely to have multiple careers with many employers from global business to micro employers, with the most striking difference that more people are likely to run their own business.

“We have witnessed a staggering rise over the last 10 years in self-employment, which has now reached 4.6 million, including an

increase of 10% in the period since my report last year on Growing Your Business,

To put this into context, self-employment has contributed nearly half of the 780,000 new jobs created in our economy over the last year.

He added: “Enterprise for All is about motivating young people to learn and excel in their education and to see the relevance of their studies. Enterprise is more than the creation of entrepreneurs, it is about a can-do and positive attitude and equipping people with the confidence to develop a career and vocational interests. Enterprise therefore supports the development of a wide range of work and professional skills and capabilities, including resilience, risk taking, creativity and innovation, as well as a self-belief that starting a business is a viable career choice and one of the most exciting and

challenging things a person will ever do.

“I would like head teachers and their staff to be able to call on inspiring and successful people in all walks of life, to offer a strong link to the local business community including social enterprises, and support them in navigating and getting the most from the array of enterprise schemes and speakers into schools programmes.

I am proposing a new programme of ‘Enterprise Advisers’ which will be a national volunteer network of motivated people, coordinated by the LEPs.

“This will be optional for schools and head teachers – but I am convinced that a large majority will see the benefits and want to take up this additional support.

This presents these employers and businesses with a huge opportunity to invest in the attitudes and capabilities they need to employ a skilled and productive workforce. For too many decades business has complained about the quality of education in our country

and from the many discussions I have held over the last few months with business organisations and companies I have met,

I believe that there will be no shortage of volunteers for this rewarding role.

Kevin Horne, chief executive of Nwes, welcomed the announcement and said it would build on successful existing projects including WoW (World of Work), its own educational charity, which works with schools.

“Schools and business shouldn’t be separate spheres - they should be working together. It’s bringing the real world into schools.”

He said one scheme included working with schools in North Norfolk on’Net to Plate’ an initiative centred around the fishing industry.

“We work with most secondary schools in Norfolk, and those young people are the most enterprising people out there because there are no barriers for them,” he added. “Every business I know wants to help young people, but unfortunately a few are unprepared for the world of work because it’s so different.”

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