Not fired: Lord Alan Sugar has just been appointed the government's enterprise tsar... again

Emma Haslett
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This is the second time Sugar has held this role (Source: Getty)

The slightly bent pointing finger of the government has singled out Lord Alan Sugar to be its enterprise tsar, for the second time - with the aim of creating 3m new apprentices by 2020.

The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (Bis) said it had appointed Sugar, a man who is famous for the catchphrase "you're fired", to champion enterprise and encourage businesses to take on apprentices.

Bis said that having quit school aged 16 to start a business, Sugar was "ideally placed to champion the cause of both entrepreneurship and apprenticeships".

As part of the role, Sugar will "undertake a series of roadshow events across England, speaking to local school leavers and businesses".

This isn't the first time Sugar has held the role. He was appointed to the post in 2009 by Gordon Brown, although he was replaced by Lord Young when David Cameron came in - and the role was scrapped in 2010 after Young stepped down. In May last year he resigned from the Labour party, becoming an independent peer.

Skills minister Nick Boles was enthusiastic in his support for the appointment this morning, saying: "We want every young person in Britain to get on and build a great life for themselves, whether it’s by starting an apprenticeship or setting up their own business.

"Lord Sugar has huge credibility among young people and I am delighted that he has agreed to help the government bang the drum for apprenticeships and enterprise."

Sugar added that he was "delighted" to be taking on the challenge - although his first tweet under the appointment suggested his mind may have wandered (NB. we think those are known as "ducklings")...

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