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Ipswich: Young Enterprise urges bosses to help save ‘lost generation’

15:53 11 February 2013

Rebecca Collier of Young Enterprise

Rebecca Collier of Young Enterprise

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YOUTH enterprise charity Young Enterprise has launched campaign targeting businesses 10 of the UK’s towns worst hit by youth unemployment, including Ipswich.

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The “Save a Lost Generation” initiative is challenging employers to stop merely complaining about the quality of the young recruits coming out of schools and instead go into the classroom and do something about it.

Young Enterprise wants to help bosses donate time, money or expertise to give young people in Ipswich the practical skills and knowledge they need to take – or create – a job and help reduce the national total of around 1million 16- to 24-year-olds currently out of work.

Rebecca Collier, a cover teacher at Ipswich Academy, mentors young people in business under the Young Enterprise scheme.

She first heard about Young Enterprise whilst at HSBC, where she worked for 15 years. The bank sponsors the scheme and Rebecca volunteered as a judge in the regional finals. She then volunteered for the role of business advisor at Thomas Mills High School in Framlingham, one of the schools where Young Enterprise helps students run real businesses for a year with help from volunteer business people.

Rebecca so enjoyed working with young people that she is now a cover teacher at Ipswich Academy where, after seeing the benefits of the Young Enterprise scheme at Thomas Mills High, she is keen to support the programme too.

“Young Enterprise teaches people all sorts of things,” she said. “One of the most important lessons is how to work in a team. Participants also learn to gauge the right level of risk-taking.

“The scheme creates a safe environment where young people can set up businesses in a way that they wouldn’t normally get to in schools. This helps them to learn what works and what doesn’t.

“Their confidence and knowledge noticeably grows with each session. We encourage young people to take their products to the general public as well as other students so they can go into the working world with a real awareness.”

Young Enterprise helps more than 220,000 young people a year to learn about business and the world of work in schools, colleges and universities, with support from a network of 5,000 volunteers from 3,500 companies.

Patricia Hagan, Young Enterprise manager for Norfolk and Suffolk, said: “Suffolk County Council has recognised a real problem with educational achievement and the aspirations of young people in the area. The well-publicised ‘Raising the Bar’ initiative is a joined up response to tackle this issue.

“Young Enterprise, through the company programme in which young people set up and run their own business for one year, supported by volunteer mentors from the business community, is well placed to help this initiative succeed.”!

Businesses interested in lending their support and backing the campaign should call Patricia Hagan: 07806918666 or email patricia.hagan@y-e.org.uk .

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  • Fingers crossed that bosses in Ipswich will support Young Enterprise. I now live in Carlisle and in the 1990s was on the Board and then Chair of the Carlisle Area Board of Young Enterprise. In 1992, a Carlisle School won the European Championships in Belgium. Many, many of our 1990s young people are now entrepreneurs and enjoying successful careers. Go for it Ipswich!

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    Keith Adams

    Monday, February 11, 2013

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