Are we doing enough to make students think about jobs?

Last week I attended the #SSATNC14 in Manchester, here is my 2nd reflection about the keynote from Sherry Coutu @scoutu

scale up devon


It was interesting to hear Sherry Coutu talk about the information, advice and guidance that is given to young people about their future careers and where it comes from? On a wider level are schools developing the knowledge, skills and attributes to nurture future entrepreneurs? Are you doing this in your school?

She started off by saying that 100% of the new jobs today are created from companies less than 5 years old and therefore as a result was stressing the importance of start-up companies on our economy and on our future.

She spoke about the Scale up Report which you can download here and was asking the question how was the education system preparing young people for this?

“The UK might not have its own Silicon Valley to speak of just quite yet. However, according to a report released today, some homegrown tech giants akin to Google and Facebook might just be in the forecast if the government supports the emergence of more “scale-up” companies on the business scene.

Launching the Scale-up Report on UK Economic Growth, which bases its findings on an analysis of 50 Scale-up programmes piloted in 20 different countries, Sherry Coutu CBE, non-executive director of the London Stock Exchange, predicts that “scale-up” companies could “contribute a million new jobs and an additional £1 trillion to UK Economic Growth by 2034”

There was also an interactive map where you can look at the specific data on your area (see the image at the top of the post)

What lessons could be learnt in this report for schools?

How do we inspire young people to do this?

One way is to bring in real life local entrepreneurs into school and how you can do this is by using Founders4schools. I searched the website and found 26 very close to my school.

Founders4Schools is a free service for teachers in secondary schools across the UK. It uses technology to make it easier and more time efficient for teachers to arrange events at their schools.

Through the Founders4Schoools website teachers can:

  • search for successful founders near to their school (search also encompasses founders willing to travel at their own expense)
  • invite speakers and have responses tracked by the platform (a huge time saving from email and phone calls)
  • arrange their own events directly with speakers


Pilot programmes run in 2011-2 reached over 2450 students and measured results.

  • 96% of students felt inspired by the speakers and debate with 94.6% saying they would be interested in attending an event like this again
  • 54% of students want to find out more about Business planning or technology skills after one of our events, compared with a national average of only 24% of students who hope to study STEM


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