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Entrepreneurship and Unemployment

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Do you agree with this statement? "Teaching Entrepreneurship Skills at School is the answer to our unemployed School Leavers."

Date Started: 2006-06-05
Date Concluded: 2006-06-25
The survey pertained to Unemployment and Entrepreneurship. We asked if you agreed that teaching Entrepreneurial Skills at a school level was the answer to the Unemployment problems in the country. You were given 3 options: Definitely, Unsure and Absolutely Not. The results showed that the public was almost equally divided on this issue. Out of the 33 participants, 42% felt that it would definitely solve the unemployment problem, while 30% felt that it would not. The remaining 28% was unsure.

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Poll Background

Young EntrepreneurSmall Business Development is crucial for any economy to survive. South Africa's economy survives and thrives on the activities of small business. Entrepreneurs ( Our SMME's ) are the life blood to any economy, which includes Athlone's economy. Yes its true, we have our own economy within the the 4 corners of Athlone, and it is an essential part of Cape Town's economy, which in turn contributes to the Western Cape's economy and to South Africa as a whole.

Small businesses within Athlone are responsible for the creation of employment opportunities, development of skills, exposure to broader opportunities and thus contribute toward the social investment in the development of Athlone.

It is therefore of utmost importance that we value the role of our Entrepreneurs in Athlone, and guide our school children to become employers rather than employees. We as the community of Athlone must ensure that opportunities exist with the Primary and Secondary School structure, that will teach and embrace the advantages of Entrepreneurship. Gone are the days when our only options where Nurse, Teacher, Bank Clerk. These are the days of Directors, Proprietors and CEO's

Are your children learning to become worker bees or are they learning the importance and value of starting their own business, creating their own opportunities? It's an important question. Statistically, today's matriculant will not go to a tertiary institution, and will be unemployed or work several part-time jobs. However if the Entrepreneurial spirit is instilled in them at an early age, they would not have to be as concerned about being employed. They could be the one doing the employing.

I have strong opinions about the role of our local government in developing an after school programme, compulsory for all students to attend. I have even stronger views on the roles that teachers play in skills development and teaching kids about "real life" expectations. I think back and only wish that instead of doing geography at school, I could have gone to a "Life Skills" class and learned about "buying in bulk and selling in singles" or maybe how to "make, sell and market flower decorations". I value the importance of both the teachers and the work that are done and praise those that go the extra mile. But, is it not simply ridiculous to train and teach a child for 12 years of their life, simply so that we have to see them sit at home, unemployed. Whilst I embrace the efforts of those remarkable teachers and schools who are progressively adding Life Skills / Entrepreneurship to their school timetable, we are still a long way off from servicing the needs of All the school children in our community.

We would like to hear about and feature some comments and responses from:

  • Teachers
  • Parents
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Local Governement
  • Organisations supporting business and skill development amongst the youth
  • Schoolchildren
  • Big Businesses supporting business and skills development amongst the youth

We are keen to find out how our community can ensure that opportunities are being made available within our school system to encourage and promote the Entrepreneurial spirit amongst our youth. The most important aspect of all of this is how do we incorporate all the schools within Athlone.
Our Goal as a community should be to offer every child in Athlone the same opportunity to create their own path of success.
Small business in Athlone can help right now, by taking advantage of Government's incentivised learnership programmes or even networking with schools to develop a school/work programme.

Lets not wait for an opportunity, lets pick up the reins and create the opportunity, lets be entrepreneurs!

Comment on this article or suggest solutions for creating a new legacy in Athlone, where every student can create work and not be unemployed.

Comments Received about the Entrepreneurship and Unemployment poll

Children should be taught to concentrate on learning the basics of education. To read, write, do maths and then to go forward to college so that they can contribute to the corporate workplace.
Mr S. Richards - Business Manager

I have read the comments below with interest and have only one question to ask "what point is an education if a man cannot use it to feed his family"?

I think it's rubbish that this kind of trash should be taught to our children. it only makes children think that they don't have to study and get an education because they can open up their own businesses and make "quick money"

I agree with the statement in a limited sense. While I feel that this particular skill is absolutely essential, I do not agree that it is the single solution to solving our unemployment problems. It is only one of the pieces of the puzzle thats needed for the true solution.
Entrepreneur, Athlone

I agree entirely with the subject being taught from a primary level. As long as it is not along the lines of business economics (which is a subject unto its own) Not only does it instill the very important basic respect for money and an understanding of how money is made and how it is spent but it also creates a knowledge base for children to then use that understanding in further investing their own money when they are older. It does not necessarily mean that all children are going to become entrepeneurs but it will educate them as to the necessity of good money managment.
Ms Schmidt (ASC. MPEG, PJEG)

Every week we open the paper and see people looking for work. My personal experience is that most people are looking for work with minimal effort and max pay, people arent prepared to work these days especially the youth. Even with the promise of training and a increase in salary most youth still want to negotiate higher salaries when they havent even proven that they can do the work. They are also not prepared to be trained properly and prefer to use company resources ie email to mxit and stay in touch with friends as well as run up telephone bill and at the end of the week,the job is too much for them and they want their wages in full and the company has to carry the losses. So in my opinion the unemployment rate is due more to laziness than anything else.

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