Charles Skene, the Aberdeen businessman, never misses an opportunity to push his demand that schools do more about enterprise. Presiding at the annual Skene Young Entrepreneurs' Awards ceremony in Edinburgh, he quizzed the secondary winners from Culloden Academy about what they had learned in setting up their company, Funki Frames, and marketing the picture frames they made.
Like an advocate drawing out a witness, he addressed Sandie Service, sixth-year managing director of Funki Frames: "You said you had not been taught about how companies work earlier in your school life. Let us assume you had done more on enterprise. Would it have made a difference?" Service replied: "Pupils need to get a taste before S2 when subject choices are made. That might influence them in choosing subjects for a future career."
As Gerry Wilson, secretary of the Scottish Office Education and Industry Department, watched Skene underlining his case, one of the Skene award judges, Hamish McPherson, of Scottish Gas, told the pupils: "You have now learned about the art of public lobbying."
Sir John Shaw, deputy governor of the Bank of Scotland when he is not chairing the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council, presented the prizes. He must have been pleased that the primary winners, the Sweet Tooth chocolate-makers of Carmunnock primary, Glasgow, said they banked with his 300-year-old establishment, but the large-size Pounds 1,000 cheques for the winners were less satisfactory. They were drawn on the bank that likes to say yes. For the photograph, Sir John put his hand across the TSB logo.