Young enterprise launch 2010

In May last year "we celebrated the conclusion of a very successful Young Enterprise pilot project that had had a rather tentative and cautious start at the Gibraltar College five months earlier.

The start of this academic year has seen a continuation of the momentum gathered last year with the creation of five companies led by College students and duly supported by their link teachers as well as the business advisers," said education minister Clive Beltran at the Young Enterprise launch.

He went on: "The Young Enterprise scheme is one of a number of projects which the Department of Education and Training is happy to participate in, involving students from our different educational institutions liaising with outside agencies and individuals in the wider community. In so far as the College is concerned, I have followed with interest the progress that individual students have been making in the creation and development of their business plans and the setting up of their companies and there is no doubt that the Company Programme is proving to be a valuable, additional educational experience to all the students involved. Improvements have been noted in their self-esteem, their self-confidence and their level of maturity. Our experience has shown that social and business networking skills improve dramatically through the scheme. This afternoon I was told that the five companies are now ready to start their trading in earnest and so I would not be surprised if we encounter some hard selling company directors and their partners before the evening is out.

"This year the College has by popular student request extended the scheme to all students and not just those who are following a Business Studies course. All the students have soon become aware of the need to acquire and develop team-working and decision-making skills. There is also the realisation that hard work produces results, sometimes even in areas that were not envisaged at the outset.

"These are clearly life skills that can and will transfer to other situations and experience that these young people will undoubtedly have to face as they go through life. Whether they decide to continue their education at university or apply for a job or even start their own business, the skills, knowledge and expertise gained as well as the contacts they will have made will, I am sure, stand them in very good stead whatever they decide to do.

"No doubt the effort required of the link-teachers and business advisers, over and above their normal workloads is substantial and demanding. But I am certain that all concerned will find the experience extremely rewarding and enjoyable."

This year has also seen Year 10 students of Business Studies at Bayside School engage for the first time in a programme called “Enterprise in Action” as well as in another Young Enterprise initiative called “Team Programme”.

This concerted action and effort by us all to create and develop in our young people the awareness and skills required of successful entrepreneurs is an important building block in the edifice that constitutes our business community.

"The Government encourages and supports this wonderful initiative and I wish all participants every success," said Mr Beltran.