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Written Statement - Youth Entrepreneurship Strategy Action Plan Progress

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Edwina Hart, Minister for Business, Enterprise, Technology and Science and Leighton Andrews, Minister for Education and Skills

We are today updating Members on the progress of the Youth Entrepreneurship Strategy (YES) Action Plan 2010-15.

The YES Action Plan was launched in November 2010 and is a joint strategy between BETS and DfES.  The Action Plan focuses on young people and how they are taken forward on a journey of entrepreneurship – raising their awareness, developing their entrepreneurial skills, sparking ideas and providing practical information and support for those seeking to start up in business.  

Delivering the Action Plan:

Progress is measured against the 10 Actions identified in the Plan.  Key Highlights include:

Action 1: Launch Big Ideas Wales as a campaign to engage and enthuse young people and partners

Big Ideas Wales was officially launched during Global Entrepreneurship Week in November 2010 to act as the primary communication tool for young people considering starting a business and for partners supporting them.

Action 2: Deliver targeted activities and events to stimulate interest and participation in entrepreneurship, particularly to those who are unemployed and/or economically inactive

Three pilot entrepreneurship groups with Youth Gateway clients have been held.  Further modules will take place in March 2012.

An entry requirement has been introduced for Skill Build learners to achieve an enterprise qualification or equivalent unit. The new employability Programmes - Steps to Employment for adults, Traineeships for youth and apprenticeships commenced on the 1st August 2011.  

Action 3: Encourage business to engage with young people and academia

356 entrepreneurs are involved in the Dynamo Role Model Programme to motivate and inspire young people. Activity has been extended to support Prince’s Trust activity and links with a range of organisations including youth offending teams, community groups and youth partnerships are being explored.

The development of an Advanced Manufacturing University Enterprise Network is being explored with Glyndwr University, Deeside College, Airbus, Toyota and their supply chains, in partnership with the National Centre for Entrepreneurship in Education.

Action 4: Provide online guidance to schools and Further Education Institutions on entrepreneurship learning and progression

Online guidance and tools to enable schools and colleges to develop a continuum of entrepreneurial learning are under development and will be available online by April 2012.

New professional standards for teaching practitioners were introduced in September 2011.  The Learning Wales website will be launched in September 2012 and the development and selection of material to support teacher CPD is underway.

Action 5: Maximise experiential learning opportunities available for young people to explore entrepreneurship at national, regional and local level

A regional YES Action Plan is being developed by Swansea County Borough Council and a STEM/Entrepreneurship Symposium led by SW Wales Regional Learning Partnership was held December 2011.

The Gwynedd County Council led Llwyddo’n Lleol project, has been extended across Anglesey, Denbighshire and Conwy to support young people to pursue enterprising ideas and develop the skills they need to set up their own ventures.

Action 6: Promote excellence in entrepreneurial learning and leadership by sharing and benchmarking good practice locally, nationally and internationally

In partnership with the National Centre for Entrepreneurship in Education, 7 staff from FE and HE are participating in the 2011-12  International Entrepreneurship Educators Programme and 3 Pro-Vice Chancellors are enrolled on the 2012 Entrepreneurial University Leadership Programme.

Action 7: Prepare young people to take the next steps towards starting a 
business

As part of the Big Ideas Campaign, pilot events are being delivered to help young people develop their ideas for business.  The pilot includes 5 open events in Merthyr, Cardiff, Swansea, Pembrokeshire, Bangor. With further 3 bespoke events aimed at specific groups of young people. The events are taking place February – April 2012.

Focussed workshops, enterprise hubs and early stage support programmes in Further and Higher Education provide environments for young people to identify and explore entrepreneurial ideas.

Action 8: Support young people to become self employed

The self employed element of Jobs Growth Wales, targeting unemployed young people aged 16-24, is being piloted in the Heads of the Valleys and Mon a Menai.  Bursaries are available for young entrepreneurs.

Action 9: Focus support services on high potential start ups especially in key priority sectors and amongst graduates

Tailored start up support, including financial bursaries is available to graduates who are seeking to start a business with the potential to grow, has been integrated into the Welsh Government’s new Start Up Support service provision.

Action 10: Draw on the experience and expertise of the business community to support young entrepreneurs

Options on the delivery of a business mentoring service to Welsh SMEs is currently being drawn up. This also links to the recommendation on developing a pan-Wales mentoring and coaching scheme made in the report produced by the Micro-Business Task and Finish Group.

Impact to date:

The data below demonstrates a positive environment for youth entrepreneurship activity in Wales:

  • Changing Attitudes - Young people under 25 have higher aspirations to work for themselves and be their own boss (52%), in comparison to the average 16-64 age group (39%) (Wales Omnibus Survey 2011).
  • Early Stage Entrepreneurship and Start Ups - The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Report 2010, reports the rate of early stage entrepreneurship in Wales for those aged 18-24 as 6.7%, higher than the UK average of 3.3%.
  • The Higher Education Business Interaction Survey (HEBCIS) 2011 survey reports that universities in Wales make up 5% of the UK’s Higher Education population, but generate 9% of all UK graduate business start-ups and 11% of active firms lasting 3 years or more.

YES Action Plan Panel

A YES Action Plan Panel has been established and is chaired by David Russ, Managing Director of the Newport and Gwent Chamber of Commerce Enterprise and Industry. To date the panel has met twice to receive updates on progress, provide strategic guidance and expertise and to advise on how best to build on what has been achieved.

Further details on the YES Action Plan are available on www.bigideaswales.com