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Yes Company Programme Urges Local Businesses To Rise To Challenge

Friday, 21 October 2011

Scots entrepreneur Shaf Rasul has backed a pioneering new drive by Young Enterprise Scotland to encourage established entrepreneurs to help out Scotland's kids.

The BBC Dragon has given the Company Programme the thumbs up following the shock unemployment figures which have targeted Britain's youth.

 YES will roll out its innovative Company Programme, a scheme which encourages fifth and sixth year Scottish students to run their own businesses, under the instruction of established entrepreneurs.

Rasul said: "With fewer university places for schools leavers and reduced employment prospects for graduates, it's fair to say that young people have been hit hardest by the economic downturn.

"However, university doesn't have to be the only route for school leavers, and it's important that we foster a culture of enterprise in order to deliver our next generation of innovators and wealth creators.

"We can't afford a lost generation so it's therefore vital that we create opportunity and develop youth enterprise initiatives across Scotland.

"Young Enterprise Scotland is a leading example of what can be achieved in fostering a culture our enterprise amongst young people in the country.

"I continue to be blown away by the entrepreneurial spark and creativity demonstrated by young people going through their programmes.

"Business mentoring and support is a key element to their success however, and I would urge established entrepreneurs and local businesses to come on board and help YES in rearing our next generation of successful entrepreneurs."

Marlyn Hosie from YES said: "The Company Programme offers students the opportunity to learn how to set up their own business from scratch, with products to sell and real saleable shares and compete against other student businesses from across the area. This is enhanced by YES and their team of dedicated local volunteers who provide support to students all across Scotland."

Recent findings from Confederation of Business Industry (CBI) helped spur this new move. Employers revealed the increasing demand for students to have core business and leadership skills before leaving education. Further studies showed 69% of employers believed school leavers have inadequate business and customer awareness skills and 71% expected to increase the number of jobs requiring leadership and management skills in the future.

Fraser Bedwell, the newly appointed Chair of the YES volunteer team in the Edinburgh and Lothian area, said: "We are encouraging all businesses to support their local schools so once students leave they are well equipped with leadership and strong business skills and are more work-ready.

"The response from the schools has been overwhelming this year and we are looking for businesses to support some new schools so that their students can experience the highs and lows of running their own businesses first hand."

Experienced business adviser Campbell Ford, from Logica, said: "As someone with a keen interest in the coaching and development of others, I was bowled over by the transformation of a collection of eight rather shy students into a confident, enterprising team in the space of just a few months.

"It has been easier than I expected for me to devote just an hour every couple of weeks, and it meant a lot to be able to put something back into my local community.  We're underway again for this year now, and who knows what lies ahead.  That's part of the fun of it."

Marlyn from YES continued: "A lot of vocational skills necessary to succeed in the workplace are learnt through the personal experience of setting up and growing a business. The students, business people and teachers who take part in the programme are an inspiration. If you are interested in making a difference and contributing as a business adviser then please contact me at YES. Educating and investing in the future of the next generation of budding entrepreneurs and encouraging economic growth are vital to the future of Scottish business. These students of today could be working in your company tomorrow."

To get involved contact Marlyn at marlyn.hosie@yes.org.uk or call 0141 202 0650




Issued by Beattie Communications (www.beattiegroup.com) on behalf of Young Enterprise Scotland