The growing case for enterprise education in schools

The case for having compulsory enterprise education in schools was always a strong one (see for example this summary by Michael Mercieca, CEO of Young Enterprise, of some of the key pieces of research in this area). Yet the case for the idea and support for it has continued to grow, especially over the last month.

One element of this is a recent poll of employers by City and Guilds, the results of which should concern us all. You can find a City and Guilds infographic of the key results below.

Another element of this is a new Manifesto for Youth Enterprise which has been launched by the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) and the Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) Inspiring Enterprise initiative. The Manifesto, among other things, argues that:

Enterprise education can have a powerful impact in developing both the soft and hard skill sets of young people. Yet sometimes it is left on the margins of the curriculum, meaning it only reaches the most proactive students. More young people could be exposed to enterprise-related learning by embedding it throughout school curricula and FE/HE courses

A similar argument has been made in a report published in September on how enterprise can tackle youth unemployment for Labour’s Youth Jobs Taskforce. The report and its recommendations were welcomed by the Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna MP and the then Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Liam Byrne MP.

The final element is the wholehearted backing that many MPs are now giving to organisations like Young Enterprise – most notably Ed Miliband MP, Leader of the Opposition and head of the Labour Party.

The more the case for embedding enterprise education in the school curriculum grows, the more foolish the Government looks for refusing to take any steps in this area.

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