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British teenagers from disadvantaged areas offered business skills and funding

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Ahead of the general election Michael Mercieca, CEO of Young Enterprise, said the government must make education a priority. According to the leader of the business and financial education charity, “youth employment is still nowhere near where it should be.”

In a bid to help move things along, Young Enterprise and FSB are out to “create the next wave of entrepreneurs” by supporting teenagers from Birkenhead, East Ham, Bristol, Chatham, Arfon and Edinburgh.

John Allan, National Chairman of Federation of Small Businesses, said: “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.

“Research has proven that if a pupil has four or more interactions with a business while at school, they are five times more likely to find themselves in education or training after school.

“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.”

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The companies are concentrating on six schools in disadvantaged areas and will provide the youngsters will the opportunity to run a business, with an ambition to highlight the importance of vocational education.

Together the firms are hoping to create excitement and education within children in hope that they will develop a passion to become successful in the world of business. Candidates will receive funding from the FSB through the Young Enterprise Company Programme, as well as mentoring from professionals and the local community.

Small business owners will volunteer their time to talk to students about social enterprise options, lending their experience and knowledge to help get them up and running. Each operation will run for an academic year and pupils will be in charge of concept, selling, marketing strategies and financial plans.

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.”

Image: Shutterstock

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