ON FRIDAY, Neil Carmichael MP from the education select committee, hosted a debate in the House of Commons on how innovative further education could better equip the workforce of the future. A pertinent subject, following the revelation of Michael Gove’s plans for education reform. Entrepreneurs can provide an interesting perspective.
Friday’s event came on the back of a report from Gazelle: Enterprising Futures. Gazelle is an association of colleges created by Gazelle Global, a company founded by five college principals with an exclusive focus on building a recognisable cluster of entrepreneurial colleges within the next five years.
Fintan Donohue, chief executive of Gazelle, set out the position of the report: “In order to thrive in today’s changing landscape, students need to be creative, collaborative and leave education with an entrepreneurial mindset – further education needs to adapt.”
Lara Morgan, founder of Company Shortcuts and Pacific Direct, thinks “there is a missed opportunity around the attitude and willingness to be competitive, to want to win and to be proud of making money.” She thinks “we need to make education more uncomfortable so that people are put outside their comfort zone.” Morgan believes “we need to teach bravery.”
Whatever policies emerge from the political sausage factory over the coming years, there can be no doubting that further education should be rooted in closer ties to businesses. Students should be regularly meeting with entrepreneurs for inspiration. Some further education colleges are ahead of the pack. Gazelle colleges and others, like the Peter Jones Enterprise Academies, are at the vanguard of this movement. The young of this country deserve nothing less.