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Australian economy hindered by lack of business education

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The Federal Opposition has said that the Australian economy was

bei n g held back by a b u s i n e s s - i l l i t e r a t e education system in

A u s t r a l i a n s c h o o l s and has called for joint government/private sector business education initiative in Australia to help develop the entrepreneurial potential of young A u s t r a l i a n s .

HThousands of young Australians leave school every year with no

k n o w l e d g e w h a t s o e v e r about how to o p e r a t e a small business" ,

Federal Shadow Minister for Small B u s i n e s s , Alexander Downer said t o d a y .

"School leavers have neither the rudimentary knowledge n o r , as a r e s u l t , the self-confidence even to consider establishing their own b u s i n e s s e s . Consequently, many young people who could have

considerable entrepreneurial flair never develop their potential.

"The result of a business-illiterate school system is the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars of wealth every year", Mr Downer

s a i d .

"if young Australians learned about business practice at school then A u s t r a l i a could develop a stunning and dynamic enterprise


"we could start to overtake other States economically simply on

the grounds that we had a more enterprise-oriented p o p u l a t i o n " .

Mr Downer said that while some Education Departments and Small

B u s i n e s s Corporations had been far from inactive in this area,

they had so far only scratched the surface of the issue.

"Some year 12 students can take business courses, but most school leavers - especially those who leave school before year 12 - are


"Beth state and F e d e r a l g o v e r n m e n t s In c o o p e r a t i o n w i t h the

p r i v a t e s e c t o r need to c o o r d i n a t e a m a j o r business education


, J' As a n a t i o n , A u s t r a l i a c o u l d ha v e a m a g n i f i c e n t f u t u r e if,

instead of just aping the rest of the world, we developed our own

ideas and initiatives. To take the lead in business education

would be one way we could get ahead.

Office No. (08) 3 9 1 0 8 8 8

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"As a first step, a vastly bigger percentage of teachers should

be t r a i n ed in b u s i n e s s practice - simple economics, the basic

p r i n c i p l e s of accountancy and rudimentary marketing techniques- so that these skills become an essential part of school life.

"Australians all know that Our future prosperity depends entirely on the success of thousands of small businesses! we are just mad

not t e l l i n g our y o u n g peo p l e wha t the f o r m u la e for business

su c c e s s are and h e l p i ng them make their own contribution", Mr

Downer said.

Contact! Alexander Downer *** O S S «2Λ f e S