Leading business organisation, the Federation for Small Businesses (FSB) is collaborating with the UK’s biggest enterprise and financial education charity, Young Enterprise to improve business-based learning across the country. In a time when the problematic skills gap is glaringly prominent, this could be exactly what the industry and the UK economy needs to take business to the next level.
Young Enterprise works with the mantra that the potential of the UK’s young people is unlimited and works towards giving them the opportunity to realise their capabilities through a range of practical enterprise programmes, from one-day masterclasses to year-long projects. Their latest venture is the Company Programme, which they have been developing with financial backing from the FSB.
The Company Programme aims to nurture a new generation of savvy entrepreneurs and business owners by offering teenagers some invaluable first-hand experience from industry experts and local communities. The scheme will predominantly focus on six schools in disadvantaged areas including Birkenhead, Eastham and Bristol.
The FSB will provide the funding and expertise of some of its small business owners to mentor young people into developing their own business ventures. The project will run the course of an academic year and will give students chance to experience everything that goes into the running of a business, from sales and marketing to design concepts and financial planning.
Research has shown that a young impressionable student needs only four interactions with a business during their schooling to drastically increase their chances of moving on to higher education or training afterwards. The FSB and Young Enterprise have taken this statistic and developed a proactive plan that aims to ensure the development of young people who might not otherwise have been given the opportunity.
FSB national chairman, John Allen had this to say: “We are thrilled to be working with Young Enterprise and the next generation of entrepreneurs on this project.
“This partnership is crucial because businesses are concerned that young people aren’t prepared for the world of work. Engaging with employers, education providers and young people is a proven way to remedy this.
“If we want to develop the next generation of small business owners which will help carry the UK economy forward, then schemes like the Company Programme are important in showing that vocational learning is a valid and beneficial path offering long-term career prospects.”
Young Enterprise chief executive, Michael Mercieca added: “We are proud to be working in partnership with the FSB to ensure that more young people leave education ready for the world of work.
“Business-based education provides a sound environment for the learning of enterprise, financial and life skills at an early age. With this in place, we will see fewer young people falling through the cracks of the education system and more approaching the job market with the skills employers are looking for.”