14 November 2013
Article by Michael Dauncey, National Assembly for Wales Research Service
During its Inquiry, the Enterprise and Business Committee took evidence from a range of people such as young entrepreneurs, organisations working with young people, the business sector, and those involved in delivering education.
The evidence that the Committee received has informed its written report and the ten recommendations that it is making to the Welsh Government.
One of the main issues the Committee identified was the disconnection between the level of interest and aspiration in entrepreneurship among young people and the actual number of businesses set up as a result. A gap was found between that swell of aspiration and actual reality. The Committee recognised the strong record of universities in Wales as reflected by the comparatively high number of graduate start-ups in Wales compared to the rest of the UK but believes that more work is needed to look at what is happening to entrepreneurial ambition across all young people.
The considerable amount of good work in Wales has been acknowledged by the Committee but it recommends action in a number of areas. These include a more consistent approach to measuring the ways in which young people engage with entrepreneurship and starting their own business, and further embedding entrepreneurship into the education system including through the revised Welsh Baccalaureate, to be brought in from September 2015.
Members of the audience at Welsh ICE questioned the Committee’s Assembly Members on their findings and the reasons they reached the recommendations they had.
The Committee’s report also recommends giving young people interested in starting their own business a clear route map and central point of contact and advice that they can access for support. It also advocates a greater role for partners such as Young Enterprise and the Prince’s Trust in delivering the Welsh Government’s Youth Entrepreneurship Strategy.
The Committee’s report and recommendations will now be submitted to the Welsh Government for its consideration. A response is expected from the Government within the coming months.