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O’Dowd commends entrepreneurial students at Gala Graduation Event

Education Minister, John O'Dowd, today celebrated the achievements of students who participated in Young Enterprise Company and Team Programmes 2012/13.
Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Young Enterprise is the foremost business and education charity in the north and promotes a culture of enterprise from an early age. The Gala Graduation event is in recognition of participants on the company and team programmes and also announces the winners of the six regional competitions.

Speaking at the event, Minister O’Dowd said: “I welcome the opportunity to be here today to celebrate the achievements of those that took part in this year’s Young Enterprise Programme. Today’s society needs school-leavers with the necessary skills to perform in the workplace. Young Enterprise programmes are instrumental in helping pupils develop those skills and entrepreneurial vision.

“That is why my Department supports Young Enterprise to deliver a suite of programmes to primary and post-primary schools. Young people of today will become tomorrow’s business leaders and innovators and it is essential that we equip them with the right skills and knowledge to enable them to fulfil their destiny.”

The theme of this year’s Gala Celebration event is ‘Your Future in Business’ and focuses on the skills and qualities that students have gained through their participation in the programme.

Continuing, the Minister said: “The worlds of business and education are linked in their desire to produce the right workforce with the necessary skills to compete effectively in the global marketplace. It is the student who represents the potential growth and future of our economy and our education system must deliver the skills and qualifications to meet the needs of employers and to support our changing economy.”

The development of the revised curriculum and increased course choices under the Entitlement Framework are evidence of the Department’s determination to ensure flexibility for pupils. Commenting on the Entitlement Framework, the Minister said: “I recently announced an additional £9.9million to support the Entitlement Framework for the next two years. The Entitlement Framework is every school putting the needs and aspirations of pupils first and making sure young people are supported to make informed decisions about their course choices.”

Minister concluded by commending everyone involved in delivering the programme. He congratulated Young Enterprise, the students and teachers and in particular the business volunteers, without whom the programmes would not operate.

Notes to editors:

  1. The Department of Education has launched a new ‘Education Works’ advertising campaign. The campaign encourages families to play, talk, read and count with their child and to ‘Get Involved Because Education Works’. Watch out for the ads on television, radio and outdoor locations. The campaign highlights the vital role families can play in helping children do well at school and improve their life chances. Visit nidirect website for more information or watch the TV ad on the Department’s YouTube channel.
  2. View photos from the Department of Education in our Flickr collection.
  3. Media enquiries to the Department of Education’s Communications Team on Tel: 028 9127 9207. Out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699715440 and your call will be returned.