Schools must take a leading role in boosting the number of youngsters who grow up to become successful entrepreneurs, says the Forum of Private Business.
Schools must take a leading role in boosting the number of youngsters who grow up to become successful entrepreneurs, says the Forum of Private Business (FPB).
The plea came through a submission to the All Party Parliamentary Small Business Group’s entrepreneurship inquiry, set up to consider the role of entrepreneurs in driving economic growth.
Jane Bennett, the Forum’s head of campaigns says, ‘Schools are vitally important because they are essentially where young minds are honed and appetites for working life whetted.
‘They have a vital role to play in encouraging entrepreneurial spirit, which is why we are calling for a greater focus by government on making sure schools are given the tools for the job. That includes a more appropriate curriculum and closer collaboration between schools and local business.’
The FPB adds that there should be more work experience and that ideally more pupils should be placed with smaller companies rather than big multinationals.
‘In smaller businesses pupils have a better chance of working alongside more senior, experienced members of staff who actually have something useful to pass on. It beats working in a mail room at town hall or large corporate organisation,’ says Bennett.
The Forum also supports a National Insurance contributions holiday for new start-ups, although it adds that very few new businesses employ lots of people in their first year of trading and therefore many companies would be unable to take full advantage of the tax breaks.
Access to credit was the topic concluding the Forum’s submission, an issue which it says has remained as one of the UK’s single most significant barriers for small businesses.
FPB research reveals that the amount of small business finance expected to come from external sources has dropped from 60 per cent last year to 40 per cent in 2012, demonstrating that businesses are ‘expecting restrictions in accessing finance to continue well into 2012’.