‘Lost generation’ of youngsters need injection of ‘Killer Instinct’ from Global Entrepreneurship Week UK 2015

According to Will Davies, MD of aspect.co.uk, the founder of the Entrepreneurs4Schools programme “there’s no simple remedy for mass youth unemployment in Britain”.

Davies, who visited his school Beechwood Park in Hertfordshire as part of the scheme backed by Education Secretary Nicky Morgan MP, says it is alarming that young people in the UK currently lack that competitive edge.

A list compiled by Thomson Reuters, published this week, showed that British companies have failed to make the world’s top 100 most innovative businesses for the fifth year running, falling behind the likes of Japan, United States and France.

Davies believes that Britons’ use of technology is contributing to the country’s lack of competitiveness.

“Technology is replacing jobs at a rapid rate of knots,” adds Davies.

“It really is survival of the fittest. We mustn’t kowtow to other nations, but instead use export and trade to steal advantage”.

“Youngsters have to be vigilant, determined and prepared for the battle of business”.

Davies points to the lack of compulsory sport in schools as a worrying trend. Only 13% of state schools make sport compulsory. “It means there’s a general lack of competition and drive amongst young people. In business, this is absolutely everything,” he adds.

“It’s a battle and a fight and a struggle. You’re savaging out competitors in your space. If you’re a runaway success, you then encourage copycats all wanting to steal your position. You have to stay one step ahead of the game”.

Davies doubts schools today actively encourage students to put the ‘bit between the teeth and run with it’.

“Rules need to be broken,” says Davies.

“Kids must challenge authority, within reason. And they must be encouraged by teachers to take risks”.

He however applauds the schools that have actively embraced successful entrepreneurs to return to their school and offer an inspiration injection.

The internet, unfortunately is throwing kids out of balance, according to Davies.

“The increasing amount of screen time has resulted in young people transferring their spatial reality away from the real world to the more illuminated, virtual world where they float in an amorphous of space junk that they pass about among their mates”.

Ofcom has recognised that people are spending twice as much time online as they did ten years ago. In their report into Media Use and Attitudes 2015, now in its tenth year, shows that internet users aged 16 and above claimed to spend nearly 10 hours (9 hours and 54 minutes) online each week in 2005. By 2014 it had climbed to over 20 hours and 30 minutes.

But the biggest increase in internet use is cited among 16-24 year olds, almost tripling from 10 hours and 24 minutes each week in 2005 to 27 hours and 36 minutes by the end of 2014.

“More time is spent on screens than sleeping,” according to Davies, “which is a worrying trend”.