Two students from the College Merthyr Tydfil were fortunate to be selected to participate in the BBC Radio Wales Programme ‘Wales at Work’ on Thursday 26th June. The students, who were part of the college’s winning Global Enterprise Challenge team, had an opportunity to talk to show host Brian Meechan and leading UN Entreprneur Fiorina Mugione about their views on fostering entrepreneurial skills across Wales.
Both students were very clear that schools and colleges in Wales need to do more to encourage students to develop their entrepreneurial skills and consider developing their own businesses.
Giorgio Baglioni, an AS level student at the college, commented “Throughout my time at school and college, I have always wanted to pursue a career in Computer Science. However, my experience with the Global Enterprise Challenge has inspired me to consider setting up my own business in an area such as tech servicing. I think more students should be encouraged to participate in projects like this to give them a taste of working in a real life business setting”
Jordan Coates, also an AS level student at the college thoroughly enjoyed contributing to the radio show debate. Jordan said “Being part of the GEC competition has really made me see the importance of incorporating business and enterprise skills into our everyday studies. We are fortunate that the college has a fantastic enrichment programme that provides lots of opportunities for students like me to engage in activities such as the GEC and Big Pitch”.
Describing their GEC experience as nerve wracking, the boys also talked about how they had learned new skills through a team of local business supporters who kindly offered mentoring, support and guidance to the team prior to the World-wide GEC challenge. Instrumental in this was the support and guidance from the local Merthyr Tydfil Business Club and EE. Tony Jenkins, Head of Resource Management – Campaigns at EE commented “EE is very proud to have been associated with the winning GEC team. It is a fantastic achievement for the students, the college and the town of Merthyr Tydfil. We would like to credit the staff at the college for taking the time to engage the students in such entrepreneurial opportunities and develop ‘future leaders’.
The team are also very thankful to the local companies and organisations that generously donated money to fund their trip to the World-wide GEC finals in Frankfurt, including a £5,000 contribution from the Welsh Government and sponsorship from Merthyr Tydfil Football Club, Universities of the Heads of the Valleys Initiative, Morlais Medical Practice, Merthyr Tydfil Business Club, Allison Richards Ceramics, Taskforce Paintballing, Eric Lewis OBE, Merthyr Tydfil Housing Association, Tydfil Training, and The Royal Naval Association.
The college is now looking to formalise its links with these businesses through the development of an Employer Engagement and Strategy Group, aimed at developing enterprise and employability skills further across both the college and general Merthyr Tydfil area.
Part of the Big Ideas Wales campaign the Global Enterprise Challenge Cymru regional competition was funded by the Welsh Government and European Regional Development Fund to increase awareness of entrepreneurial opportunities of young people in Wales.
About Big Ideas Wales
Big Ideas Wales is a Welsh Government campaign designed to encourage young people to be more entrepreneurial and help those interested in starting a business take their ideas forward. This is a key action of the Welsh Government’s Youth Entrepreneurship Strategy for Wales Action Plan 2010-15. Further information on the actions and Strategy is available on www.BigIdeasWales.com
The campaign itself is managed by Menter a Busnes as the service provider for the Youth Entrepreneurship Services 16-24. This service is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
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