ISME, the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association, congratulated the class of 2016 on their Leaving Certificate results and reminded the Government of their commitment to promote entrepreneurship throughout the educational system. The Association called for broader enterprise education to be introduced and encouraged throughout the education system from primary to third level.
While the big-business lobbyists, with their narrow outlook, continue to call for more maths and science, to supply skilled workers to the multinationals, ISME calls for a broader education to:
• Develop the students' attitudes and behaviours, such as personal responsibility, creativity, leadership, problem solving and risk taking
• Develop students' ways of seeing the world and how to handle their resources
• Allow students to take a critical and ethical view of value creation and develop entrepreneurial technical and managerial competencies.
According to ISME, CEO, Mark Fielding, "We must promote a national spirit and culture of entrepreneurship, which is essential if we are to facilitate a strong pipeline of future business start-ups coupled with a world class public service".
International evidence suggests that a practical approach to business subjects and an exposure to entrepreneurship from an early stage will lead to an increase in graduates and school-leavers establishing start-ups. An enterprise mindset is also required for positions within the public service to ensure a world-class service.
In addition, it is essential that apprenticeships and traineeships be promoted and adequately funded across all areas of industry to accommodate future skills needs and make up for the negligence of government since the recession.
"Students need to prepare for a 'portfolio career', most of which will be within the SME sector. The Association would encourage students to work in the SME sector, where they will have greater scope to use their talents and gain a wider range of experiences than that available within larger organisations",concluded Fielding.