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With youth unemployment now topping 1 million, rising tuition fees and a perceived lack of key skills amongst the UK’s young workplace there has never been a greater need to develop and harness the enterprise and talent of our young people.

I don’t know about you but as much as I loved school, I’m still convinced that half of what I studied was irrelevant for the real world. I can pretty much guarantee that my years of studying Latin or Pythagoras theorem have not enriched my adult life or my career.

If the whole point of school was for me to get into University and the whole point of University was to get a good career, then why were subjects such as ‘how to prepare for future life’ or ‘how to get a good career’ left out of the school curriculum?! Could we not have replaced RE with ‘communicating and understanding different cultures in life and business?’ or how about replacing Latin with Business? Maths should have included accountancy, investment, and tax and the sciences could have incorporated Philosophy to help us explain the Universal laws of nature. Rather than spending time on General studies why on earth weren’t we being taught Sales?! And ‘how to sell yourself in life and business?’ Can you imagine if we were all leaving school with a clearer picture of what careers existed and what we need to do to succeed in business and in life? Our communication skills would be better, we would be more equipped to handle life and its challenges and we would be able to sell ourselves more effectively, which…let’s face it…is the KEY to being successful in this world. We would also encourage more young entrepreneurs and this would be a brilliant engine for growth in our economy!

I was lucky enough to be exposed to a scheme called Young enterprise at school, where we were encouraged to create a company and produce products and services to sell to the public. Young Enterprise’s mission statement is “to inspire and equip young people to learn and succeed through enterprise.” What I want to know is why Young enterprise wasn’t compulsory? Surely teaching children the lessons of business at a young age would be vital for their future career success?

I am very confused by the education system and why these vital changes haven’t been made. During my career in graduate recruitment and after speaking to 1000’s of employers, they all say the same thing about the competencies they are looking for when they recruit. Candidates have to be self-confident and have high levels of verbal communication skills. They need to be driven and dynamic and have the ability to influence and persuade. They also have to have a high level of structure and logic. If these are the skills and competencies needed to succeed in life and business then why aren’t we being taught at school how to improve on these areas?

We are in a situation now where the number of people aged between 16 and 24 who are unemployed has increased by 52,000 during the last 3 months, hitting a staggering 1.04m! I hate to say it but if those 1.04m people were being taught at school what it takes to succeed in business and life, rather than RE, Latin, German or D&T would the figure not be less?

The new school curriculum would include personality profiling so that teachers could understand how to best communicate with each child (teach in the student’s preferred communication style and map of the world) and utilize Visual, kinesthetic and auditory education tools. They would have access to a coach to improve their level of confidence, self-belief and communication skills. They would have lessons in business and Young enterprise would be a compulsory scheme. They would be taught about saving money, investing and tax and accountancy in their maths lessons and they would have a careers lesson where they get taught what each career means and business mentors would be invited in to speak. This would encourage students to pick a career which is right for them meaning that they may need to go to University or equally maybe they wouldn’t have to go.

With these changes implemented I am convinced that unemployment would be reduced, the economy would flourish and grow and the world would be a more positive place.

The Apprentice Project provides the education students need after finishing University! If you are interested in learning more about our career coaching services then call 001 310 867 5868 or email [email protected].

Written by Emma Vites

Copyright © 2012 Emma Vites