POLITICS

Teach Five-Year-Olds To Start Their Own Business, Says PM's Adviser Lord Young

19/06/2014 10:07 BST | Updated 19/06/2014 12:59 BST
Tim Ireland/PA

Children as young as five have been urged to start up their own businesses as part of a raft of proposals from David Cameron's enterprise adviser Lord Young to hardwire "an enterprising attitude" into Britain's education system.

The Tory peer's proposals also include setting up an society in every university and a scheme to allow secondary school pupils to create their own start-up business in order to help them get a "lifelong experience of enterprise in education".

Lord Young suggested that the Fiver programme, run by the charity Youth Enterprise, which challenges five to 11-year-olds to make as much money with £5 in a month, should have its target doubled so that at least 40,000 children take part in it next year.

“The most employable skills of all are the three Rs – but they, by themselves, may not be sufficient unless accompanied by an enterprising attitude,” the peer said in his new report "Enterprise For All".

“For many young people the fourth R in education is relevance – unless they see the relevance of their lessons to their future, they can switch off,” the peer said.

“Enterprise means far more than just the ability to become an entrepreneur. It is an attitude and set of skills that are vital in today’s growing global economy.”

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Speaking in January to the Huffington Post UK, Lord Young, who served in Margaret Thatcher's government, lavished praise on the coalition government for being more entrepreneurial "than we were in the 80s".

The peer also proposed setting up a network of enterprise advisers at school for head teachers and an enterprise passport, which would track and record enterprise experience to create a record of employability.

Emma Jones, founder of small business network Enterprise Nation, said: “The world has changed immeasurably. Today’s workforce needs to be more commercially-minded, have an eye for enterprise and how to create their own value whilst enjoying meaningful, independent work."

“Young people need to at least be able to have a rudimentary understanding of how the commercial world works and we as a society need to find ways to measure and nurture this new entrepreneurial spirit.”