British entrepreneur Peter Jones CBE has called upon businesses to inspire young people and encourage them to follow in his footsteps by creating their own start-ups, following a significant decline in GCSE results.
The Dragon’s Den panellist highlighted that it is more important than ever for the younger generation to be aware of the opportunities they could have by thinking entrepreneurially, and says businesses can educate young people on their options.
This year’s GSCE results have fallen to the lowest level since 2008, as those achieving A* to C has declined from 69% to 66.9% and top A* grades slipped from 6.6% to 6.5%.
Peter Jones CBE, said: “With today's GCSE results showing the sharpest ever decline in good pass grades, it is more important than ever that we inspire our young people to continue to follow their dreams as they look to the future.
"I would encourage everybody receiving their results to make sure they are aware of the opportunities that lie ahead of them and choose the path that’s right for them”.
In 2009, Mr Jones founded the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy (PJEA), offering BTECs and Apprenticeships in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, the first qualifications of their kind for 16 to 19-year-olds in the UK.
The courses teach young people the essential skills to start their own businesses and involves partnerships with a range of companies and entrepreneurs.
Mr Jones said: “More than ever, our country needs a British Dream, and enterprise education will be at the heart of shaping that dream. By encouraging young people to think entrepreneurially, to seize opportunities and learn the basics of business, we give them the confidence to succeed and inspire them to be the best they can be.
“Today’s results highlight that enterprise education must be high on the agenda of Justine Greening MP, the new education secretary. We need to open our children’s eyes to the way they can take control of their own destiny by starting a business.”
Recent school leaver, Cameron Alston, is set to join the PJEA course at South Essex College in September instead of continuing at school to do his A-Levels. After founding online fitness site, Block Fitness, he hopes to have a large fitness businesses empire within the next five years.
Mr Alston said: “It seemed like the perfect course for me. Nobody in my family owns a business, so I have never really had someone in my life who can give me business advice.
"Having someone who has been there and wants to share their experience, will give me some really good ideas and will make it clear what I need to do to be successful.”