With Sir Richard Branson celebrating his 60th birthday last weekend, entrepreneurship has been the focus of political and media debates.

One of the REC’s messages to the incoming Government has been the importance of effective guidance and mentoring support to help budding business tycoons to become the employers of the future.

A key recommendation of the REC’s Youth Employment Taskforce was that more needs to be done to develop a new generation of entrepreneurs who can make their mark on the business world.

Commenting on the need to encourage entrepreneurship and the need for effective support mechanisms, Sam Strange, Director of the REC’s own Business Support Unit, said:

“The current environment makes it necessary for young people to start looking for alternate ways of getting on the jobs ladder and sometimes, one good, marketable idea can provide the catalyst. When Richard Branson started his record mail order company back in the early 1970s, he could never have imagined that his Virgin brand would later become one of the most instantly recognisable and respected global businesses.

“Entrepreneurship can be enhanced through effective support structures – it is a source of innovation and individual fulfilment that we need to do more to tap into. In addition, it is increasingly recognised as a key driver for future job creation as new businesses flourish and expand.”

As well as running its own mentoring services to recruitment businesses through the Business Support Unit, the REC has worked in co-operation with organisations such as the Entrepreneurs’ Forum which helps people start new business ventures as an alternative to finding employment.

Sam Strange concluded: “There is no shortage of experienced professionals with the right mentoring skills to assist the next generation of business leaders. The priority is to actively promote the entrepreneurship route and to put the right support structures in place. Otherwise, the future Sir Richard Bransons, Lord Sugars or James Dysons will not have the opportunities to be the household names of their generation.”

Copies of the REC’s Youth Employment Taskforce report are available here