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DfE budget cuts holding back UK's entrepreneurial youngsters

19 Nov 2012
A child on a sofa using a laptop

The Department for Education (DfE) funding cuts are making it difficult for young people to be taught the skills they need to start their own businesses, according to industry insiders.

While the government appears to be taking action to increase the number of entrepreneurs in the UK, expand Tech City, and fill the skills shortages facing the IT industry, the reality is different.

Young Enterprise is a charity that used to get funding from government to run programmes for young people on how to set up a business. This funding has now been cut and means not all schools can provide young people with such skills.

"Originally the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) used to help fund the Young Enterprise so we could subsidise the costs to school. But now that council has been abolished, we get no public money at all," said director of education Roy Howard, in an interview with V3.

"Equally schools used to get funding for enterprise activities and this has been cut too. Most schools now run these types of programmes as extra-curriculum activities."

The LSC funding was cut in 2010 and since then Young Enterprise has been on a campaign to get back public funding.

"The government push at the moment is very much around core academic subjects. I'm not saying that is not important but the business world desperately needs students more prepared for the world of work," said Howard.

As the situation worsens, the Young Enterprise will soon step up its lobbying efforts with the launch of an official campaign, Save The Lost Generation. Posters will be put up all over London, urging the government to give school children more preparation for the workplace.

The campaign also questions the government's decision this year to cut the right for 14-16 years olds to have work related education in the classroom.

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Rosalie Marshall

Rosalie Marshall is the special projects editor and chief reporter at V3. Previously she was a reporter for IT Week and channel editor for online television site Rosalie covers government IT, business applications, IT skills, open source technology and social networks.

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