Businessman Lord Sugar has been hired as the government's new enterprise tsar – and been given the role of promoting apprenticeships.
Lord Sugar, best known for his role in hit TV show The Apprentice, built up two successful computer firms – Amstrad and Viglen – after leaving school at 16.
His new role is part of the government’s drive to get more young people to consider starting their own business or undertaking an apprenticeship, supporting the the target of creating 3 million apprenticeship starts during the current Parliament.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said in its announcement: "As well as championing enterprise and apprenticeships among young people, he will encourage businesses to take on apprentices themselves."
'A great way to build skills'
"I’m delighted to be taking on this challenge," Lord Sugar said. "I built successful businesses with the support of hundreds of talented young people who learned their skills on the job – exactly the kinds of skills you learn in an apprenticeship. But not enough of our young people know about apprenticeships and what they offer, and too few feel empowered to set up their own business.
"I’ll be travelling the length and breadth of this country to tell young people why apprenticeships are a great way for them to build their skills – and talking about the opportunities for starting their own business, hopefully instilling some entrepreneurial spirit."
Skills minister Nick Boles said: "Lord Sugar has huge credibility among young people and I am delighted that he has agreed to help the government bang the drum for apprenticeships and enterprise."
Lord Sugar will be undertaking a series of roadshow events across England, speaking to local school leavers and businesses. He will be provided with support by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Education.
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