Businessman and The Apprentice star Alan Sugar has been appointed as David Cameron’s new enterprise tsar.
He will champion enterprise across the country and encourage firms to take on apprentices themselves and drive to get more young people to start their own business or an apprenticeship.
“I’m delighted to be taking on this challenge. I built successful businesses with the support of hundreds of talented young people who learned their skills on the job – exactly the kinds of skills you learn in an apprenticeship. But not enough of our young people know about apprenticeships and what they offer, and too few feel empowered to set up their own business.
“I’ll be travelling the length and breadth of this country to tell young people why apprenticeships are a great way for them to build their skills – and talking about the opportunities for starting their own business, hopefully instilling some entrepreneurial spirit.”
Lord Sugar sits as a crossbench peer in the House of Lords and served as Gordon Brown’s enterprise tsar from 2009 to 2010.
As one of the best known names in British business, he having built up two successful computer firms – Amstrad and Viglen – after leaving school at 16.
He will be provided with support by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Education.
Skills Minister Nick Boles said: “We want every young person in Britain to get on and build a great life for themselves, whether it’s by starting an apprenticeship or setting up their own business. Lord Sugar has huge credibility among young people and I am delighted that he has agreed to help the government bang the drum for apprenticeships and enterprise.
“Lord Sugar’s role will contribute to the government’s drive to deliver three million apprenticeship starts in England by 2020.
“In last year’s summer budget, the government announced the introduction of the apprenticeship levy to increase the quality and quantity of apprenticeships in England.
“An employer-led Institute for Apprenticeships will begin work next year and will have a mandate to regulate the quality of apprenticeships.