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Young Enterprise is the United Kingdom's largest business and enterprise education charity. Every year it helps 250,000 young people learn about business and the world of work in the classroom under the guidance of volunteers from 3,500 companies. Young Enterprise's mission statement is "to inspire and equip young people to learn and succeed through enterprise." Its guiding principle is to do this through 'learning by doing.' The programmes range from 'Our Nation' for Primary school pupils as young as four. It takes students on an engaging story-based journey exploring the world of work, saving, earning, decision making and teamwork. They culminate in Young Enterprise's flagship Company Programme which enables 30,000 15-19 year olds run their own real companies for a year with help from business mentors. Many of the scheme's alumni have on to outstanding business success. So what is the Young Enterprise Charter? Essentially it is a petition. 
It was launched in May 2011 to alert the country to two issues that could torpedo the economy.
As Ian Smith, chairman of Young Enterprise, put it: - the Department of Education is adopting an alarmingly narrow focus on academic skills and exams. - and too many senior managers in business are tending to blame the attitude of British workers, particularly young recruits, for their own failures. Here is what it actually says: We, the undersigned: - believe that the future of the UK economy depends on our ability to equip young people with the skills, attitudes and aspirations they will need to succeed as tomorrow's enterprising employees, entrepreneurs and business leaders. Through working together to invest in young people now, we will drive long term economic growth and increase the competitiveness of the UK in the global economy. - recognise that Young Enterprise has the unparalleled experience, expertise and a history of proven impact to lead the drive for a better skilled UK workforce by connecting business, educators and young people to inspire each other through enterprise. - strongly support Young Enterprise's conviction that all young people, must be given opportunities to: - Gain experience of entrepreneurship during their time in education and beyond. - Develop the employability skills, behaviours and attitudes they need to succeed in work. - Be empowered to shape the future of business and enterprise in the UK. We call for: - Government to prioritise and support outstanding enterprise education in schools, colleges and universities; business, employability and entrepreneurship education to be placed within the statutory curriculum. - Employers to acknowledge the crucial role they can play in the development of their future workforce and to support, nurture and enable staff to volunteer time to pass on their business experience and skills to the next generation; 10,000 volunteer days to be dedicated to enterprise education during 2011/12. - Schools, colleges and universities to value and facilitate opportunities for young people of all ages to take part in stimulating enterprise activities throughout their educational journey; another 500 schools, colleges and Universities to commit to a dramatic increase in their employer engagement during 2011/12. We pledge to invest time, talent and financial resource to bring about the step change required to ensure that the next generation of young people have the enterprise skills and inspiration needed to drive the UK economy forward.

Level of Education: Preschool, School, Initial vocational education and training

Lead Organisation: Young Enterprise UK Support Centre

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