Skills Academy launched to help Young Entrepreneurs

Peter Jones, Dragon's Den

The Government has unveiled details of a new National Skills Academy (NSA) for Enterprise which is aiming to equip young people with the skills to set up in business.

Peter Jones, Dragon's Den

The new academy will be launched early in 2009 and will be headed by Peter Jones from the BBC television programme Dragons’ Den.

The NSA for Enterprise will deliver the UK’s first NVQ level two and three qualifications in enterprise and entrepreneurship, with courses designed by employers and training specialists.

It is expected to deliver vocational courses to 11,000 young people aged 16 to 19 within its first three years, offering training on–site, online and at a variety of dedicated NSA colleges to equip them to work for businesses or set up their own.

Established businesses will also be able to take advantage of short courses at the new academy to help them to develop their own and their employees’ skills. Peter Jones said:

“I’m delighted with this commitment from Government to enterprise learning. The funding contribution announced today will help us turn our plans for a £32 million learning programme into reality.

“The new National Skills Academy for Enterprise will focus on developing the enterprise and innovation skills and confidence [that young people] will need to succeed in the modern business world, whether as enterprising employees or starting their own businesses,” he added.

The National Skills Academies were started by the Government in 2006 as a way of involving employers in creating training programmes that suit their needs. Sally Domingo–Jones, spokeswoman for the Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills said.

“It puts employers in the driving seat and gets them to say what training they need and what qualifications are relevant for them. Employers benefit by getting people trained in the skills they actually need, so instead of getting generic training courses that don’t suit them, they work with their sector skills council to make sure that the training in their sector is relevant,”

“They might create a new apprenticeship, for example, or a new diploma,” she added. “They put in money, but there is also money coming in from government to set these projects up.”

The NSA for Enterprise has been announced alongside three others — the NSA for Power, the NSA for Information Technology and the NSA for Social Care — taking the total number of NSAs to 16.

For more information, visit the National Skills Academies website.

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