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UK Contractors: Young people should be encouraged to learn enterprise and business skills

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Many contractors, or those who are looking to join the contracting community, might agree with the opinions of a group of experts, who have said that enterprise and business skills need to be encouraged at a younger age.

These are the beliefs of a panelist of experts at the Student Entrepreneurs Question Time (SEQT) event, which was held last week at the Liberal Democrats Party Conference in Glasgow.

The event, which was hosted by the National Association of College & University Entrepreneurs (NACUE) and Santander, featured panelists from the world of business and politics, all of whom agreed that entrepreneurship should be promoted as a career path at schools.

They explained that whilst tenacity, determination and bravery are needed to succeed in business, hard skills such as managing intellectual property, exporting, contracts and sourcing funding should be learnt at an early age.

Stephen Dury, Managing Director of SME Markets & Business Development in Santander Corporate and Commercial Banking, commented, “It’s so important to support and encourage entrepreneurism especially amongst young people. Student entrepreneurs are key to the growth and prosperity of our economy and many of them will define and lead our future.”

Johnny Luk, NACUE Chief Executive added, “More students are setting up businesses and choosing to be self-employed than ever before. They’re engaging in activities beyond the classroom, such as entrepreneurial societies, and developing their soft skills, which are not always reflected in an exam grade. In spite of this, the students in our community often find it difficult to engage with politicians. We work to advocate for these students, the dreamers, the strivers, and the innovators, opening up more meaningful engagement channels between young people and politicians.”

Accountancy and investment group Smith & Williamson, might also agree with these opinions, as the organisation have also released a report saying that lack of entrepreneurship education in the UK is failing students who want to become self-employed. 

Smith & Williamson have sent the report to Business Secretary Vince Cable with the suggestion that entrepreneurship should be established as a career option with specific business training taught in schools. 

Head of Entrepreneurial Services at Smith & Williamson, Guy Rigby, said, “The increasingly entrepreneurial culture in the UK has the potential to bring huge benefits to our society, but things need to change. Our outdated methods of education fail to recognise the full potential of an increasingly savvy generation.”

What’s life really like as a contractor? Visit our Life as a Contractor case studies hub for real life stories on working through your own Limited company, taking money out of your Limited company, understanding IR35 and much more.

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