Small Business Minister joins Purpose Coalition and Young Enterprise for applied learning roundtable.

Minister for Small Business and Enterprise, Kevin Hollinrake MP, has today joined former Education Secretary Rt Hon Justine Greening and a team from Young Enterprise, including Chief Executive Sharon Davies, alongside leading Purpose Coalition businesses to explore the importance of applied learning, and equipping young people with the skills they need to get on in life.

The roundtable was an opportunity for the Minister to learn more about the work of private sector organisations and the benefits of Young Enterprise for teachers and young people across the UK.

The joint roundtable, held in association between the Purpose Coalition and Young Enterprise, also explored ways in which organisations can support and improve enterprise education in schools and colleges to unlock the skills potential of young people. The event brought together senior leaders from Purpose Coalition organisations, including Virgin Money, Sodexo, and Adecco.

Applied learning is now particularly important in a post-pandemic landscape, and allows students to apply their knowledge and skills from the traditional classroom setting to real world projects. Earlier this year, Young Enterprise published their new report ‘What Applied Learning Really Looks Like’, highlighting case studies to show teachers and policymakers how applied learning can be integrated into school timetables and across the curriculum.

Mina Karshala, now on the Young Enterprise Board joined the roundtable, and is a 2013 Young Enterprise alumna who took part in the Start Up Programme whilst studying for her Leadership and Management degree.

Through hands-on employability, enterprise and financial education programmes, Young Enterprise works directly with teachers, parents and businesses to help reduce youth unemployment, and help young people realise their potential beyond education, empowering a generation to learn, work and live.

Chief Executive of Young Enterprise, Sharon Davies said: “Since 1962, over 7.2 million young people have accessed Young Enterprise Financial and Enterprise Programmes and Services. As we enter our 7th decade of supporting young people, access to opportunity has never been more important in helping them to build their futures. Especially, in the current economic climate where real-world learning opportunities are key to developing young peoples’ confidence, attitudes, and employability skills.

 Our report released earlier this year on ‘What Applied Learning Really Looks Like’ showed that 96% of teachers believe that being able to apply learning in real-world contexts is important.

Through this roundtable in partnership with Purpose Coalition, we urge policymakers, educators, communities, and the government to recognise the fantastic work already taking place in schools and work together on a renewed push to increase opportunities for young people to apply their learning in real world settings across the country.

Chair of the Purpose Coalition, Rt Hon Justine Greening, said: “Entrepreneurship not only generates business and jobs for communities, it encourages aspiration in individuals. It can help boost levelling up and improve skills training. Since 1962, Young Enterprise has empowered generations to learn, work and live, and it’s been brilliant to host today’s event alongside Chief Executive Sharon Davies, and to welcome the Minister for a practical, real-world discussion.

“Young people today grow up in a highly connected environment with access to new technology, new markets and new ways of communicating, but all too often feel they lack the skills, experiences and networks to take advantage of them. When government, business and organisations like Young Enterprise work together, we can improve applied learning, boost skills, and deliver a shift in mindset where entrepreneurship becomes the norm.”

Mina Karshala, YE Alumna and YE Trustee, said: “In a classroom setting, whilst we had great teachers, what we as pupils naturally did, was follow instructions. Such as instructions to complete homework or instructions to learn a specific chapter. But when I took part in Young Enterprise, I realised that when you run a business there isn’t really anyone giving you such specific instructions… so if you aren’t proactive, or don’t think outside of the box, your business will stay stagnant. You will stay stagnant. Learning this at a young age is key to potential success in later life.

 Young Enterprise allowed me to gain the confidence to take risks and gain those self-led learning skills, it allowed me to also apply what I learnt at school, to real life. Being honest, I still got things wrong, and often still do. But the confidence to just give things a go and take everything in your stride as learning opportunity, has made the biggest difference.

If every young person across the UK had the same opportunity to access applied learning, the possibility of what the next generation could achieve is incredible.”

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