Study Finds Lack of Training for Wales's Young Entrepreneurs; REPORT: Fund Takes Action to Address Inadequacies in Teaching Institutes

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Byline: WILL SMALE Assistant Business Editor

FURTHER and higher education institutions are being urged to take up the challenge to foster better entrepreneurship and produce the economy-boosting business leaders of the future.

The call comes from Education and Learning Wales after a comprehensive survey highlighted the lack of entrepreneurship training for students in many Welsh institutions.

In the study, commissioned by Elwa, experts at the University of Strathclyde's Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship, found that 75pc of further education institutions and 25pc of higher education establishments "have few mechanisms, equipment and policies for helping create entrepreneurship".

Pat Jones, director of the Knowledge Exploitation Fund set up by Elwa to provide backing for entrepreneurship initiatives in Wales's centres of learning, said, "There must be an increase in entrepreneurship training across all institutions if we are to capitalise on the wealth of knowledge and the talents and abilities of our students to create, new successful businesses.

"The findings of this entrepreneurship audit provide a valuable base line for the development of entrepreneurship in Wales. We need to increase the numbers leaving courses who then start up in business from 2pc to 5pc so there will need to be, at the very least, a corresponding increase in the number of students undertaking entrepreneurship training."

Following the Strathclyde report on 36 Welsh higher and further education establishments by Dr Laura Steele and Dr Jonathan Levie, KEF is already introducing a raft of new measures.

These include holding entrepreneurship masterclasses for appointed "entrepreneurship champions" within each of the institutions, the first of which was held last Thursday and Friday for further education representatives at a conference held in Llandrindod Wells.

In a joint initiative with the Welsh Development Agency and the Careers Company, KEF is to provide a route guide for each institution.

It is also working on spinning out the Graduating into Enterprise Programme currently only available in higher education in south east Wales, to make it available to further and higher education establishments throughout Wales. …