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School should instil entrepreneur spirit

Wednesday, August 13 11:28:49

As the Class of 2014 open their Leaving Certificate results this morning, ISME called on Government to include entrepreneurial education in the school syllabus.

It called on teachers and policy-makers to encourage students to consider starting their own business rather than simply focusing on attaining employment.

Mark Fielding, ISME CEO, commented, "Enterprise education must be introduced at primary school level and promoted throughout the education cycle and starting your own business should be presented as a viable, and attractive, alternative. All the evidence suggests that a practical approach to business subjects and an exposure to entrepreneurship from an early stage, would lead to an increase in graduates and school-leavers establishing start-ups. While the perennial cry from big business lobbyists is for more maths and science in schools, to satisfy their multinational masters, the importance of entrepreneurship in the regeneration of the Irish economy must not be overlooked."

"College alternatives such as apprenticeships and traineeships must also be promoted. There is currently a serious shortage of apprentices and Government has been negligent in addressing this issue. The result is that as the economy experiences a lift we are seeing employers struggle to find suitably qualified staff. This situation will deteriorate if preventative measures are not taken."

"We also encourage school-leavers to consider a career within the SME sector. Small and medium businesses offer opportunities for mentoring, hands-on experience and work variety that simply do not exist in what can be a regimented, bureaucratic world of big business. SME staff have much greater scope to make their mark and to have their ideas heard and talents utilised than their counterparts in large corporates, who often are little more than a number to management."

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