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Peter Jones: Every young person can achieve
I have never believed that people are born to do a certain job. All young people can forge their own path and I strongly believe that with the right mix of support and opportunity, every young person has the potential to achieve great things.
Therefore, I established the Peter Jones Foundation for Enterprise (FFE), with a simple, yet challenging aim, to equip young people with enterprise skills to fulfil their potential, whatever path they chose. I was determined that young people in this country had the chance to enjoy good, meaningful enterprise education that taught them real-world business and broader invaluable life skills.
We have made huge progress, working with over 450 schools, providing more than £500,000 to enable over 10,000 students to start their first business through our flagship competition, Tycoon. We have also supported more than 3,500 students to secure an accredited qualification in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, developed with the awarding body Pearson. We are now offering an A level and a GCSE in Business to our partner school and college providers.
However, a lack of meaningful enterprise education in schools, continues to damage young people’s job prospects and ultimately their futures. And, at a time when job prospects are widely seen as the weakest since the Second World War, our mission is now more important than ever.
That’s why I have now launched the first school-based Peter Jones Enterprise Academies (PJEA). We already have a network of fantastic FE colleges hosting our Enterprise Academies, and are now broadening this out to schools, giving them the chance to work in partnership with the FFE to become hubs of outstanding enterprise provision.
School-based PJEAs will also receive funding to enable students to start their own business while at school – genuine, practical, real-world experiences that will allow them to learn by doing.
I believe that entrepreneurship should be embedded in the national curriculum and I will continue to lobby Government until it happens.
But the Government’s focus on social mobility does show it means business on transforming the life chances of young people and I hope this is just the start of good things to come.
This is so encouraging – all young people deserve a brighter future, but they must be given the opportunities and the tools to help themselves. Entrepreneurship is a skill that can be taught, and that learning needs to start in schools.
Peter Jones CBE is the Founder and Chairman of the Peter Jones Foundation