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Skills and Enterprise

The Issue

Research from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills shows an increasing number of job vacancies caused by a shortage of skills. This is despite increased numbers of students in higher and further education. We’re campaigning for schools and colleges to encourage enterprise and ‘Think Business’.

We want school leavers to be ready to join the workforce with in-demand skills like communication, self-management, teamwork and problem solving. We want young people with entrepreneurial spirit to be supported, so they have the confidence to set up their own business.

Action FSB have taken

  • We’re campaigning for the Government to place a greater emphasis on teaching numeracy and literacy within the current school curriculum.
  • We’re encouraging more schools to offer vocational education and include business engagement in their teaching.
  • We’re lobbying the Government to further incentivise all schools to offer an inspiring careers guidance, including post-school education and training opportunities to all pupils.
  • We’re working with Young Enterprise to increase the links between our members and schools. This will encourage the next generation of young entrepreneurs and business owners.

Our Goal

Businesses will invest in job-related training but expect young employees to have basic skills in numeracy, literacy and character-based skills learnt at school. Education institutions will recognise the value of engaging with businesses to better understand the skills employers are looking for. Relevant, high-quality work experience with local businesses should also be offered to all pupils, along with providing support for education and training beyond school and within the workforce.

Achievements in...



  • The Government has increased focus on the development of character-based skills in schools, as a direct response to the skills shortages employers told us they are facing.
  • The Government’s backing our report on providing local business support, through Local Enterprise Partnerships, local authorities and other local networks.
  • We’re involved with the Government-backed Careers and Enterprise Company

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  • Small businesses' concerns about young people’s employability and skills are well-known. The introduction of a Certificate for Work Readiness by Scotland’s skills agency, then, is an important step to tackle the issue and is in direct response to FSB Scotland’s calls.

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