Entrepreneur Peter Jones, from TV’s Dragons’ Den, has unveiled a new National Enterprise Academy as part of the joint initiative with government aimed at fostering the entrepreneurial talents of the country’s teenagers.
The first academy will open in early 2009 in the South East of England, as part of the National Skills Academies programme, followed by a centre in the North West, and then a national roll-out soon after.
Government will also commit £30m to fund the expansion of enterprise education to primary schools and further education institutions, on top of £180m already ear-marked for secondary schools and supporting networks until 2010.
The academy will offer a new qualification to students over the age of 16, providing skills both for the workplace or to start their own businesses.
A broader remit will include raising enterprise awareness across the entire population, specifically encouraging more women entrepreneurs.
Business secretary John Hutton said: “I want the UK to be the most enterprising economy in the world – and to achieve that we must unlock this country’s talent. With Peter Jones’ backing and experience, this National Enterprise Academy will bring the right qualifications and skills to the UK’s next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs.”
Jones said: “If the UK economy is to continue to grow, we need to create the right learning environment for all our children, where their talents can be developed so they can go out into the workplace or business and prosper.”