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The Issue

Raising the aspirations of young people and providing them with the guidance, information and opportunities to access all available education and training options helps to boost employers’ access to skills. A survey of FSB members also found that 40 per cent of small business owners agreed that improved careers guidance would increase awareness of SME jobs and small business ownership.

FSB wants to see better careers information, advice and guidance for young people alongside activities designed to boost employability skills. FSB is also an advocate of enterprise education as part of the curriculum as a means of embedding these key skills but also entrepreneurship as a viable career option. Small businesses are well-paced to engage with young people in education to provide workplace opportunities and discuss self-employment and small business ownership.

Action FSB have taken

  • We’re supporting Department for Education, the Careers and Enterprise Company’s Opportunity Areas initiative and Founders4Schools by encouraging small businesses members to provide opportunities to young people and help boost social mobility.
  • We’re supporting the charity Young Enterprise in its efforts to build a new generation of entrepreneurs.
  • We’re encouraging and advising our members on improving their engagement with education.

Our Goal

We want the Government to ingrain business and enterprise learning within the curriculum. Work-experience, inspiring careers guidance and regular contact with local businesses, will help more pupils acquire the skills they need to be workforce ready. It should also inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs to give business a go. 

"I don’t know of anyone who did their work experience with a sole trader, so I don’t know any school kids who are thinking about setting up their own business, which is a shame. I’m sure they could teach me stuff too! " FSB Member.

Achievements in...



  • We helped shape Lord Young’s ‘Enterprise for All’ report which outlined a number of ways to improve business education and employability skills among young people.
  • We’re lobbying for improvements to careers information, advice and guidance for young people by working with Department for Education on the forthcoming Careers Strategy.
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  • We’re pushing the Scottish Government to make enterprise education available to all school pupils.

  • We’re lobbying the Scottish Government and Education Scotland to introduce more rigorous inspections and reviews to make sure pupils are work-ready and have high quality soft and digital skills.

Visit Scotland section