General Election 2015: Dragons' Den star Peter Jones wants a focus on entrepreneurship and business education

 
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Peter Jones is the star of BBC's Dragons' Den

ELECTION COUNTDOWN: 8 DAYS TO GO

Every day until the final week of the election campaign, we ask a business leader to say what policies would entice them to vote for a particular party.

PETER JONES: CBE, DRAGONS’ DEN STAR AND ENTREPRENEUR

■ What I really want from our next government is an absolute commitment to enterprise and entrepreneurship in our country. A dedication to encouraging entrepreneurship across all age groups, with a special emphasis on our younger generation, would make a party stand out to me.
■ The government is yet to realise the importance of proper business education in schools. We need our next leaders to appreciate the value in enterprise education and embed this within our national curriculum.
■ Over the past decade, I have been campaigning for enterprise to be on the curriculum and pushing this agenda through the work of my charity, The Peter Jones Foundation. As well as focusing on the core academic subjects, we need to nurture ‘softer skills’ within our young people, such as confidence and resilience. These are fundamental to success in the workplace and in later life.
■ Time and time again, research has shown that many school leavers lack the skills required for employment in the modern world. Ultimately, this is putting us at a competitive disadvantage as a nation and in turn our economy is at risk. The future government needs to promote compulsory enterprise education. Giving it a firm place on the national curriculum would provide schoolchildren with a rounded view of the varying options across all kinds of sectors.
■ A great government would stress the value of entrepreneurship and encourage people of all ages to consider it as a feasible career path. With more than one company born every minute in 2014, this really is a golden era for start-ups and enterprise in the UK. Our next leaders need to ensure our education system is preparing the future generation for the outside world – whether that’s starting their own business or bringing innovative ideas to an existing business.
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City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.

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