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Thursday, 14 February, 2002, 17:58 GMT
Pupils to get lessons in business
pupil pouring molten metal
The government is encouraging a practical approach
British schoolchildren could be setting up and running their own mini companies under proposals to encourage an entrepreneurial spirit among the young.

Every pupil should be given five days' experience of enterprise activity and the chance to develop links with local firms, recommends an independent review by the chairman of the Financial Services Authority, Howard Davies.

If we are to have a deeper and wider entrepreneurial culture we must start in our schools and colleges

Gordon Brown
And business people should come into the classroom to tell pupils about careers in enterprise, Mr Davies suggests.

He urges the government to allocate 56m funding - and business 30m - towards the programme, which could offer pupils a grounding in the basics of finance and the economy.

The report was commissioned by Chancellor Gordon Brown who is concerned there are not enough entrepreneurs in the UK.

From class to boardroom

Launching the report's findings, Mr Brown said it was "an important step in spreading the spirit of enterprise from the classroom to the boardroom".

He indicated that it would almost certainly receive the funding it needed.

Vacuum cleaner designer James Dyson
Gordon Brown wants to see more entrepreneurs like James Dyson
"If we are to have a deeper and wider entrepreneurial culture we must start in our schools and colleges," said Mr Brown.

"I want every young person to hear about business and enterprise in school, every college student to be made aware of the opportunities in business, even to start a business, and every teacher to be able to communicate the virtues of business and enterprise."

Providing this opportunity for young people - especially for those in disadvantaged areas - was critical if Britain was to be a country which rewarded enterprise and where the chance to succeed was open to all, he added.

Curiculum overhaul

The report comes in the same week as the Department for Education published plans to overall the school curriculum for 14 to 19 year olds, placing greater emphasis on vocational learning.

Young people need to know how to survive in the real world of work

Peter Smith, Association of Teachers and Lecturers
"The review reflects our approach, published this week in our 14-19 Green Paper, of delivering good-quality vocational learning and supporting work-based learning for all our young people," said Education Secretary Estelle Morris at the launch of the independent review.

Peter Smith, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, welcomed the report, saying: "Young people need to know how to survive in the real world of work."

"Exam qualifications take them so far but real life demands much more."

The report is the result of a six-month independent review of enterprise and education commissioned the government.

It will be considered by ministers as part of the 2002 Comprehensive Spending Review.

See also:

05 May 01 | Education
MBA for entrepreneurs
30 Sep 01 | Education
Hunt for young entrepreneurs
17 Oct 00 | Business
Primary step on entrepreneur ladder
15 Aug 01 | Business
Starting your own business
18 Jun 99 | The Economy
Prince's Trust boost to entrepreneurs
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