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Creating an Enterprise Culture in the Chinese Year of the Sheep – Beware of Sheep Dipping

Michael Mercieca blogs for Huff Post UK

HuffPost header sheep dipping March2015
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.‭”


Read the full article on Huff Post UK here