Self-made multi-millionaire and Dragons Den Star Peter Jones is set to head an academy to teach young entrepreneurs how to succeed in business.

The National Skills Academy for Enterprise will offer vocational courses for about 11,000 16 to 19 year olds in its first three years. Jones, the boss of Phones International Group, amongst others, intends to nurture Britain’s youth into great businessmen/women.

The skills academy is due to receive £30m in funding from the government, and will centre on power, IT and social care.

The funding provided by the government is to be matched by employers who have bid to lead the academies.

Jones said: “This is Britain’s first academy specialising in enterprise – specifically enterprise – which is fantastic.

“If our kids now can grow up and actually be totally educated about how – not just the economy operates – but actually how businesses function, all those people sitting at home worried about their money are going to be actually making much more educated guesses about what to do.”

Mr Jones believes the public-private partnership could “unlock the talent of Britain’s young people and realise the potential of the UK to lead the world in entrepreneurship”.

He said that the National Academy for Enterprise would focus on equipping young people with enterprise and innovation skills, with the aim of giving them the necessary confidence to succeed in business.

Mr Jones is no stranger to success. He founded a tennis academy at the age of 16, then in 1998 he founded Phones International Group, a telecommunications firm that generates more that £200m in revenue.

Skills Secretary John Denham said: “Skills academies put employers in the driving seat to shape training for their industries, building the world-beating workforce that will improve productivity and competitiveness across the country.”

At present there are 12 National Skills Academies, with ten already running and two in the planning stage.

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