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MPs call for more enterprise skills in education

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The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Micro Businesses report, An Education System Fit for an Entrepreneur, said that businesses should be offered tax reliefs to encourage them to engage more with education. 

It also said that teacher training should be reviewed to encourage teachers to bring businesses into the education process, and that OFSTED should assess schools on the basis of business engagement. 

Anne Marie Morris MP said: “Enterprise education is crucially important if the growth agenda is to succeed. We need to create enquiring minds open to new ideas and able to spot opportunities. We also need to ensure education in entrepreneurship is available to all, not just those that make it to business school.

“Entrepreneurs emerge across the age range. I met a young lad of 9 recently who had just set up his own business. As he put it “my teachers don’t get it”. Clearly many teachers do get it as our research shows but that support is not universally there – and it should not just be a matter of luck!”

University students should all be offered the chance to study a module on entrepreneurship regardless of their degree discipline, the report added. 

Enterprise minister Matt Hancock, said: “More small businesses, creating more jobs are a vital part of a long-term plan for Britain’s future. The Government welcomes the ideas put forward in this report and will consider them in due course.”

Professor Andy Penaluna, one of the report’s authors, added: “What impressed us most were the education champions that we met during our investigations. 

“There is a clear energy amongst the educators that we met to engage with this important agenda, and they have evidenced the many creative ways that they have got things done – usually driven by the needs of their pupils and students.”

John Allan, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “Enterprise education should be an important part of school life from primary school through to college and university.

“Not only do young people need to be well informed about business and self-employment but they also need to be taught entrepreneurial skills which will help them be good employees as well. There is much we can learn from other countries in this respect.”

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