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Young Enterprise Launches Campaign to “Save a Lost Generation” and Tackle Youth Unemployment in Portsmouth

Published: 29th January 2013 11:36

 Chris Bullock went through the Young
Enterprise Company Programme

Young Enterprise, Britain's leading youth enterprise charity, is this week launching a nationwide campaign to tackle youth unemployment in 10 of the UK's worst-affected towns during 2013, including Portsmouth.

The campaign aims to put business leader and young people in Portsmouth in contact.

"Save a Lost Generation" is challenging firms to stop worrying about the quality of the young recruits coming out of schools - and instead go into the classroom and do something practical about it.

Young Enterprise wants to help bosses donate time, money or expertise to give young people in Portsmouth the practical skills and knowledge they need to take - or make - a job and help reduce the one million 16 to 24 year olds currently out of work.

Chris Bullock, 29 from Southsea, went through the Young Enterprise Company Programme, which helps students run real businesses for a year with help from volunteer business people at the age of 17. He won several awards for his stationary selling business, including the Young Achiever of the Year. Chris, who is now a Management Accountant for Scottish and Southern Energy, has recently joined the Young Enterprise judging panel in a bid to inspire young people in Portsmouth to take part.

Chris says, "In my working life today I am constantly using that background in networking and leadership that Young Enterprise gave me. It's an absolutely fantastic organisation and it gives you a number of important skills and experiences that you can take on throughout your career, and even throughout your life. I have nothing but praise for the organisation, particularly at a time of high unemployment, and would recommend anyone to take part to help as a spring board to bigger and better things."

Every year, Young Enterprise helps 227,000 young people from all backgrounds learn about business and the world of work in the classroom under the guidance of volunteers from 3,500 companies.

Tina Braithwaite, the Young Enterprise Regional Manager for Portsmouth says, "We have many caring and socially aware employers in Portsmouth. They are concerned however, that many potential young recruits are leaving school with good grades but without the softer employability skills that would make them suitable to take on."

Tina continues, "With the 'Save a Lost Generation' campaign we are asking business leaders to go into classrooms to inspire the students by passing on the skills and attitudes that will help them become employable staff, and potentially successful entrepreneurs. Young Enterprise is truly unique because the Company Programme involves full support for an academic year, involvement with business mentors, structure for students to set up and run a real business and the chance to win awards and gain formal recognition for your work."

Michael Mercieca, Young Enterprise Chief Executive, says, "We are launching this campaign because we sense there is a deep and growing concern for the future of young people in Britain today and we recognise Portsmouth as a key area. If nothing is done we are facing a real danger that a whole generation of young people in Portsmouth will be out of work. We must act now to equip young people with the skills that will help them gain meaningful employment or create their own businesses to stop what could be a devastating future for this city. We want to help talented individuals in Portsmouth create opportunities for themselves and others."

Mr Mercieca continues "We want to put out a rallying cry to business in Portsmouth to help "Save a Lost Generation" and give the young community an opportunity to shine. If we don't act now, it will be too late."


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