As Enterprise tsar, Lord Sugar will travel the country to visit young people and promote the idea of starting businesses as well as ensuring that employers are taking on apprentices.
Lord Sugar left school at the age of 16 to start two computer firms, Amstrad and Viglen, and is therefore ‘ideally placed to champion the cause of both entrepreneurship and apprenticeships’, a government statement declares.
He will taking part in a series of ‘Roadshow’ events across the country supported by the Department of Business, Innovation Skills, and the Department of Education.
This appointment comes after interpretations of the official NEETs figures – young people not in education, employment or training – suggested that contrary to the obvious rise in employment since the credit crunch was resolved in late 2011, young people are being ‘shut out of work, education and training’ in the long-term.
Impetus-PTF, a charity who provided this analysis, found that 17% of 16-24 year olds (1.3 million) spend 6 months NEET. At the end of 2015, the Office for National Statistics note that less than 12% of young people were NEET for such a long period of time and that only 42% of those were looking for work or education, revealing a steep decline in the employment of young people since last year.
There appears to have been government action combatting this alarming employment downfall not only in the allocation of one of Britain’s best known businessmen as Enterprise tsar. In last year’s summer budget, an employer-led institute was given a mandate to make sure the quality and quantity of apprenticeships is improving.
The apprenticeship levy will deliver three million opportunities for young people to learn business skills and give them the opportunity to prosper in the current economic climate.
Skills Minister Nick Boles said:
“We want every young person in Britain to get on and build a great life for themselves, whether it’s by starting an apprenticeship or setting up their own business”
Lord Sugar said:
“I built successful businesses with the support of hundreds of talented young people who learned their skills on the job – exactly the kinds of skills you learn in an apprenticeship. But not enough of our young people know about apprenticeships”
Lord Sugar has in the past criticised the Tory party for their ‘negative business policies’ and ‘anti-enterprise concepts’, but is looking forward to making a difference in the lives of young people and ‘instilling some entrepreneurial spirit’.