Dragon’s Den entrepreneur Peter Jones teamed up with Orange and Business Secretary Lord Mandelson
today to launch the National Enterprise Academy,
which aims to develop young entrepreneurs across the UK.
The Government-backed NEA is the brainchild of Peter Jones.
It aims to enrol 18000 students in its first five years and will use new ways
of teaching and real life business environments to develop young entrepreneurs.
as the NEA’s partner, has pledged to offer four permanent posts to NEA
graduates and will offer three NEA scholarships to Barnardo’s.
Orange chief Tom Alexander said the NEA’s aims are in tune with Orange’s innovative culture.
He added: ‘We work in one of the fastest paced industries in the world and it
is therefore essential that we hire young people with the skills, ability and
drive to become the future leaders of our business. The NEA is a superb way to
do just that.’
Peter Jones said he set up the NEA to fill a gap in
the education market for a hands-on course dedicated to enterprise and entrepreneurship.
He added that the recession was a good time to launch the NEA, which would
provide entrepreneurs and ‘inspired employees’ to stimulate the economy and
speed up the UK’s
Jones pointed to the NEA pilot programme which he said
had ‘outstanding ‘ results, with a number of the 28 pilot students already
running their own start-up businesses and five graduates offered positions by
high profile organisations.
The Department for Innovation and Skills will stump up
£9m to fund the NEA in its first three years which will be matched by the
private sector. The NEA is part of the Government’s National Skills Academies
programme which aims to open 16 academies aimed at developing business skills
in a variety of sectors including IT, construction and manufacturing.
The first NEA courses will be run at colleges in Manchester and Buckinghamshire with plans to roll the
course out across the UK
over the next year.