A new apprenticeship for entrepreneurs is being launched and will be developed under the government’s Trailblazer programme, to reflect a changing economic landscape as more people aspire to start their own ventures.
An apprenticeship for entrepreneurs (including social entrepreneurs) was a key ask of the Social Economy Alliance’s election 2015 manifesto, a group of more than 700 individuals and organisations campaigning for a UK economy that is better for society.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has given the go ahead for an apprenticeship for entrepreneurs, including a specific pathway for social entrepreneurs –people who run ventures to solve social problems and effect social change.
It recognises that entrepreneurship is a viable career choice, giving those aiming to start their own business or social venture the opportunity to gain experience while building their entrepreneurial skills.
Apprentices would learn from employers while developing a venture, and will attend a local FE college or training provider to develop knowledge in management, business planning, finance and tailored modules to ‘social entrepreneurship’, which can be directly applied to their employment and to their own enterprise.
They would also be assigned a dedicated entrepreneur or social entrepreneur mentor. The apprenticeship will aim to provide sufficiently transferable skills to enable a successful apprentice to perform this role in a business of any size or sector, or to apply these skills in setting up and running their own enterprise independently.
Around 50 employers and supporter organisations are working to develop the apprenticeship standard, including Deutsche Bank and a number of SMEs and social enterprises including Reason Digital, Talentino Careers and Simply Do CIC.
The group is chaired by Alberto Masetti-Zannini from Impact Hub King’s Cross and is supported by UnLtd, the UK’s foundation for social entrepreneurs, along with the Federation of Small Businesses and the Centre for Entrepreneurs.
Employers are backing the new apprenticeship as it reflects the changing economic landscape, with the number of newly registered businesses rocketing from 484,224 in 2012 to an estimated 581,173 in 2014. Close to half (47 per cent) of people aged 18-30 want to start their own business.
There’s also growing appetite among young people to make a positive impact on the world. Seven in ten prospective start-ups are influenced by social causes, while 27 per cent would choose to form a social enterprise.
“Businesses must have their say in training tomorrow’s workforce. Giving employers the power to design apprenticeships means apprentices graduate with the skills they need for the job they want and businesses get the talent they need to grow,’’ stated Skills Minister Nick Boles.
‘‘Young people on these programmes will have the opportunity to learn sought-after skills and enjoy a great start to a working life.”