Bright young business leaders welcomed Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills, to the Young Enterprise Scotland base at Rouken Glen.

Mr Hepburn met youngsters from St Oswald’s ALN Secondary in Castlemilk to find out more about how they ‘learn by doing’, and enjoyed a tour of the social enterprises that work with YES on site.

During the visit, Mr Hepburn stressed the importance of young people being able to attain qualifications in enterprise education, and revealed that through a jointly-funded collaboration between the Scottish Government and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework Partnership (SCQFP), the Young Enterprise Company Programme will now be credit rated. SCQF credit rating is the formal process undertaken for qualifications and learning programmes to be included on the SCQF – Scotland’s lifelong learning framework.

The Company Programme gives S5 and S6 pupils practical experience of running a business by taking them through the steps needed to set up a social enterprise.

Business Minister Jamie Hepburn said: “Thank you to the Young Enterprise Scotland team at Rouken Glen for inviting me to see first-hand, enterprise education in action. The young people from St Oswald’s are a shining example of success in enterprise and they should be very proud of all they have achieved. Learning about enterprise prepares young people for the world of work which is why it is great to hear that going forward, success in the Young Enterprise Scotland Company Programme will be formally recognised. Successes like this emphasise the importance and effectiveness of enterprise education. The Scottish Government is pleased to support Young Enterprise Scotland and I look forward to meeting many more ambitious young entrepreneurs in future.”

YES chief executive Geoff Leask said: “This credit rating is a game changer for YES. The Company Programme is aimed at every young person and is accessible to young people who perhaps aren’t likely to gain traditional, academic qualifications. It’s so important that enterprise education is recognised in this way. Not every young person will attain academic qualifications so it’s vital that their determination across different subjects is recognised and rewarded. Our Company Programme has influenced hundreds of young people over the years and we’re very proud to be involved in inspiring youngsters to go on and succeed in business.”

The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) provides a way of talking about, and comparing, qualifications. It provides recognition of a wide range of learning programmes and helps learners make better choices on their learning journey.

Aileen Ponton, CEO of the SCQFP, added: “We are delighted that the Scottish Government is supporting the credit rating of the Company Programme developed by YES. The SCQF as a tool can directly support the Government’s agenda on equity in education, closing the gap and developing the young workforce. There are more than 11,500 learning programmes on the SCQF and it is a little-known fact that 93% of programmes at SCQF level 6 are not Highers, so programmes such as this one help to reinforce the message that school is as much about gaining skills as academic achievements.”

For more information, visit the YES website.

Photograph caption: Estrela, Scottish Winners of the Company Programme from Kirkwall Grammar School in Orkney who represented Scotland at the UK finals in London.  From left to right: Jack Harcus, James McLeod, Isla Leslie, Robbie Thomson & Calum McArthur.