Press release

Skills minister issues challenge to young entrepreneurs

Skills minister launches challenge for young entrepreneurs of the future.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Skills Minister Matthew Hancock today launched a challenge to teenagers to think more about starting their own business.

The minister, working with social enterprise group MyKindaCrowd, called on young people to raise their aspirations and consider going into business for themselves when they leave school.

He will launch the challenge during his Speakers for Schools talk to students at Small Heath School in Birmingham later today.

Matthew Hancock said:

Setting up a business on your own can be a great start. We want to encourage young people towards enterprise.

So I am challenging teenagers to think of new ways schools, colleges, employers and the government can inspire more young people to become the entrepreneurs of the future.

The minister is visiting Small Heath School see how they are working with local employers and partners, including Birmingham City Council, to support pupils to develop the knowledge, self-confidence and skills that employers need.

The minister also used his visit to highlight how organisations like Speakers for Schools and MyKindaCrowd can help to connect schools and pupils with industry leaders.

He reiterated the Prime Minister’s commitment to work with the CBI and charity Speakers for Schools to get 1,000 of the UK’s top business leaders into schools to inspire young people about enterprise and industry.

He added:

The best motivation and advice tends to come from people in jobs themselves.

So I want to see more employers and business leaders getting involved with schools and colleges to motivate young people about the world of work.

Commenting on the visit, Andrew Law, Chairman of the Speakers for Schools Board of Trustees, said:

Speakers for Schools is about encouraging young people to seize opportunities and inspiring them to become the leaders of tomorrow.

We’re thrilled that the minister has chosen to support our charity and it’s fantastic that the students today will be able to find out more about the many options available to them, as well as having the chance to ask questions to one of Britain’s most influential politicians.

Neil Carberry, CBI Director for Employment and Skills, said:

Education is the single most important factor predicting our long-term economic success. Inspiring our young people about what they could achieve is a vital part of this.

As businesses, we can’t leave it to schools to do this on their own: CEOs engaging with programmes like Speakers for Schools, while encouraging staff to give careers talks, is a great way for all companies to play their part.

The winner of the challenge, which will run for 11 weeks, will meet the minister to discuss their winning idea and spend the rest of the day shadowing him to find out what it is like to be a minister working in the government.

Runners up will share their ideas with the minister before having a tour of the Houses of Parliament and a photo opportunity outside the door of Number 10 Downing Street.

Will Akerman, MyKindaCrowd CEO, said:

The key to creating our future workforce lies in giving young people the opportunity to learn practical skills and experience that are relevant for business. We want to bring together businesses and education establishments to provide opportunities for all young people.

Notes to editors

  1. To find out more about the minister’s challenge visit the MyKindaCrowd website.

  2. MyKindaCrowd is a social enterprise that helps connect young people to the world of work. Their mission is to become the destination of choice for employers and young people to connect and engage. Companies are using MyKindaCrowd to recruit young people at apprenticeship, school-leaver and graduate level.

  3. Speakers for Schools is an independent charity that provides young people in state secondary schools across the UK with access to inspirational speakers, free of charge. Speakers for Schools now has over 900 Speakers registered with the charity and has delivered over 600 talks in state schools across England, Scotland and Wales since it was founded in 2011. More information can be found on the Speakers for Schools website.

  4. Small Heath School is an ‘outstanding’-rated school which works closely with local businesses and the CBI.

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Published 19 November 2013