Published: Mon, 03 August 2015
Seán Kelly MEP (Ireland South) wants secondary school goers to have the chance to develop their entrepreneurship and practical business skills with dedicated entrepreneurship training and workshops added to the school curriculum in future.
“Irish people in general have a remarkable entrepreneurial spirit and an innate business sense – as evidenced by the strong SME sector, at 99% of all active businesses in Ireland.
“As a former teacher, I understand the importance of ensuring our young people leave school with the kind of skills required by the labour market, so they have many employment opportunities or can pursue their dreams of starting their own business. In a positive move, the European Parliament will call for a greater emphasis on promoting youth and entrepreneurship through education and training in September,” Mr Kelly said.
Next month, MEPs will vote on a report from the Culture and Education Committee ‘Promoting youth entrepreneurship through education and training’, calling for education systems to include the aspects of entrepreneurship into the curricula at all levels and for the EU and the European Commission to support and coordinate this process methodologically and financially, notably through the ERASMUS+ Programme.
“Particular attention should be given to the training of teachers, informal learning and the practical dimension of learning, i.e. on a project basis in cooperation with the private sector and entrepreneurs. So our budding young entrepreneurs will be inspired by real life experiences, learn from experts and be encouraged to develop their ideas,” Mr Kelly added.
Mr Kelly has also called for increased support for the 15,000 Irish women entrepreneurs starting new businesses every year. “There are now about 15,000 women starting new business in Ireland every year and the latest statistics suggest 10 percent of women in Ireland aspire to start a new business in the future. These are not simply aspirations, as the number of women entrepreneurs increased by 50 percent in the 12 months between from 2012 and 2013.
“Education and access to finance are crucial to enable young and mature women entrepreneurs to start their own businesses and that’s where I would like to see greater supports offered to help them pursue their business ideas,” Mr Kelly concluded.