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Green light given for entrepreneur apprenticeship scheme

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has given the go-ahead for an exciting new apprenticeship scheme for budding entrepreneurs.

Launched as part of the government’s ‘Trailblazer’ programme, the scheme also features a specific pathway for social entrepreneurs – those who take the lead in solving social issues and drive social change.

Entrepreneurship is now recognised as a viable career choice, giving those keen to start their own business or social venture a chance to gain experience while nurturing their entrepreneurial skills for the future.

The scheme is working with more than 50 employers and supporter organisations in a bid to develop an apprenticeship standard. Leading names such as Deutsche Bank are lending their support, along with a number of SMEs and social enterprises namely Reason Digital, Talentino Careers, Super Being Labs and Simply Do CIC.

The group is chaired by Alberto Masetti-Zannini of Impact Hub King’s Cross and is ably supported by UnLtd, the UK’s foundation for social entrepreneurs, alongside the Centre for Entrepreneurs and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

Employers are increasingly backing the new apprenticeship scheme as it accurately reflects the UK’s evolving business landscape.

The number of newly formed businesses sky-rocketed from 484,224 in 2012 to more than half-a-million (581,173) in 2014. In addition, close to half (47 per cent) of people surveyed aged 18-30 cited an ambition to set up their own business.

However, a mere fraction of aspiring entrepreneurs actually take the plunge; with many lacking the skills to get a business off the ground or the confidence to succeed.

Cliff Prior, CEO, UnLtd, said: “Entrepreneurship is fast becoming the new normal. UnLtd is committed to helping people who have entrepreneurial solutions for social problems to start well and thrive.

“This apprenticeship is a first step to creating a new way to join the ever more diverse and powerful movement of entrepreneurs for good, bringing social entrepreneurship into the mainstream – a viable career choice for anyone, no matter their background.”

Nick Boles, Skills Minister, added: “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.

“Young people on these programmes will have the opportunity to learn sought-after skills and enjoy a great start to a working life.”

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