Europe 2020 initiative needs to address enterprise

‘An agenda for new skills and jobs’ is an initiative has been launched to help people acquire the skills they need to get good jobs and work for longer.

Lee Hughes, Head of Enterprise at YTKO Group, gives his verdict:

“Any initiative to help any group into employment is a positive thing, but it needs to factor in self-employment as an alternative option.

“A lot of initiatives and agendas focus on employment. The Response to Redundancy agenda for example, isn’t catering for enterprise. For people aged over 50 we need to be expressing that self-employment is also an option. Similarly with Europe 2020’s agenda, we need to ensure that it is seen as a valid alternative to employment. The focus on ‘new skills’ needs to have a clear and core offering for enterprise.

“Enterprise has in the past been perceived as being specialist and perhaps niche, which might explain why it has been overlooked. Today its value is increasingly being recognised. Celebrity entrepreneurs have helped to promote it through their own initiatives, examples being Peter Jones’ National Enterprise Academy, Doug Richards’ Enterprising Academic Programme and Alan Sugar’s The Apprentice, which this year searched for an entrepreneur.

“Most mainstream providers aren’t equipped with the skills, knowledge base and experience to effectively support people to set up their own business. YTKO Group has a 30-year history of working with entrepreneurs in the UK and across Europe, helping them to set up and establish their businesses. We have a whole wealth of expertise, skills and knowledge that we’ve developed and, more importantly, a network of SMEs we’ve supported – some 8,500 Enterprising Women members and 2,500 Outset clients.”