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Youth Unemployment Starts In The Classroom

EntrepreneurCountry Global Thursday, 22 December 2011.

We keep hearing two words “youth unemployment” but what is anyone actually doing about it? I am a firm believer that if entrepreneurial learning had been embedded in young people from an early age at school then the youth unemployment figure would be significantly lower today.

This might sound controversial but my opinion of the school curriculum is that some of it is a waste of time. How the curriculum is more focussed on maths and science rather than life skills and personal development is beyond me. If we had more enterprise and entrepreneurial learning at school more young people would be given the option to become enterprising and entrepreneurial! This could mean either starting their own business and becoming and entrepreneur , having the foundations set to become a fantastic employee.

Young Entrepreneur Society (YES) is my business and we have put a training programme together to do just that and it has recently been approved by government as a nationally recognised qualification. The 12 Steps to Success Programme will soon be funded into all schools and colleges nationally and aims to get more young people starting a business. We do however also work with young people who are unemployed through Job Centre Plus but prevention is better than cure which is why this needs to be taught at school.

Every day I hear the word “unemployment” probably in excess of 20 times. Everywhere you look they are talking about it. Newspapers, TV, Radio  - it’s everywhere you look!  I hear more people moaning about it than I see people trying to do anything about it. We need to stop talking about the problem and concentrate on the solution!

Most people think that unemployment is high but I prefer to look at the situation as there being not enough entrepreneurs. It’s quite simple really, more entrepreneurs = more jobs! This is why I am so passionate about entrepreneurship becoming more available in schools and colleges. There is a question lots of people ask like “How can entrepreneurship be taught?, you’ve either got it or you haven’t you"? I’m also sure now our programme is accredited as a qualification people will ask “How can you be a qualified entrepreneur, what makes you qualified to start a business”?

These are very valid questions. My answer to those two questions would always be you can teach somebody the skills they need to be an entrepreneur but you cannot possibly teach them how to be an entrepreneur. Those two things are extremely different. You can’t teach ambition, passion or drive but you can set the foundations and make someone aware that there are other options out there other than going to university or getting a job working for someone else. You can’t be a “qualified entrepreneur” either but young people like to do a course where they are working towards something at the end and it adds more credibility if the government have approved the materials being delivered!

I truly believe entrepreneurship and the private sector are going to be the biggest contributors to getting our economy booming again. We need to be encouraging more young people to make a job not take a job and to create a job for others too. With all the redundancies happening at the moment it would not be such a problem if there were many new jobs being created by the private sector. This is why my company YES exists.

We need to find tomorrow’s achievers today,  this is the key to improving our economy.

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