Creating an Enterprise Culture in the Chinese Year of the Sheep – Beware of Sheep Dipping
Michael Mercieca blogs for Huff Post UK
Michael Mercieca writes:
“Sheep dipping is no longer a legal requirement, but for many farmers it remains a vital twice yearly event that protects their flock from diseases. The benefits outweigh the costs because sheep dipping works. For sheep, that is.
How is this relevant to enterprise education? And what is sheep dipping in this context?
Imagine this: a large group of animals are corralled into a pen and then forced - or should I say encouraged - to swim through a long trough of liquid containing insecticide and fungicide to emerge a little disgruntled but protected. Farmers will tell you that sheep are not generally happy to repeat this exercise. That’s because, despite what you may think, they are not stupid: research shows that they can learn and remember - and they are not exactly keen swimmers. However, as long as sheep in equals (wet) sheep out - job done.
Now, let’s consider business and enterprise education in schools. I admit that might seem like a bit of a jump, yet the way we are currently trying to teach enterprise in schools has many parallels with sheep dipping. First, we must ask why we need to do something to encourage young people to think positively about business and then make sure that they really do have the skills to secure a job or to build their own business.
Currently, according to our own research at Young Enterprise, 70% of UK employers say it is difficult to find good quality applicants for entry-level jobs; research by the FSB stated 37% of firms said the lack of skills was a barrier to growth compared to 25% one year earlier; 43% of UK employers say the education system is not equipping young people with the right skills for them to enter the workforce and 92% of employers say it is important to offer enterprise education as part of the national curriculum in schools, even though it is no longer statutory.”