Young Enterprise Scotland (YES) has been awarded significant grant funding to help establish its enterprise learning programmes within all Scotland’s primary and secondary schools and support young people through the disruption caused by COVID-19.

The grant of £100,000 from Barclays £100m Community Aid Package will immediately enable YES to expand its enterprise programmes into 30 secondary and 150 primary schools within areas of highest deprivation, reaching over 2,500 young people whose schooling will have been impacted most by the pandemic.

In addition, the funding, which will secure three new roles within the charity, will support YES’ 5-year strategy commitment, #enterpriseforall, to embed entrepreneurial skills teaching into mainstream education.

Since 1992, Young Enterprise Scotland has been forging a path for enterprise education and last year introduced the first ‘higher’ for entrepreneurial skills, with over 300 senior phase pupils achieving the pioneering qualification. As a consequence of the pandemic and the reality faced by many pupils who have had their education disrupted, YES’ enterprise programmes have been quickly seized upon as a means to inspire, motivate and equip a generation of school children whose future is uncertain.

Geoff Leask, Chief Executive for Young Enterprise Scotland, said: “This is a tremendous endorsement of the power and the need for enterprise learning in our schools and we are very grateful to Barclays for the vision they have showed through this grant.

“There has never been a greater long-term need to ensure that our young people gain a deep-rooted enterprise mindset and are taught entrepreneurial skills. The grant so generously awarded by Barclays allows us to have both an immediate impact where it is needed most and the increased capacity to build confidently for the future alongside our public and private sector partners.

“We will be employing three new roles in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow to support the development of enterprise pathways across the schools in these areas. We have increasing amounts of data to show the impact of our enterprise programmes and the ability to reach all schools through our online platforms. The new roles will be the next piece of the jigsaw creating new connections with local authorities, education boards and teachers.”

HeraldScotland: Geoff Leask, CEO of YESGeoff Leask, CEO of YES

The Barclays £100m Community Aid Package was set up in April to support charities that are helping people and communities most impacted by COVID-19. £10m of this funding has been donated through their 100x100 UK COVID-19 Community Relief Programme, with Young Enterprise Scotland being one of 100 UK charities each receiving a donation of £100k, allowing its important work to continue.  Young Enterprise Scotland was chosen by a selection committee for the meaningful work it is doing to give young people the skills to face what are expected to be unprecedented challenges in the jobs market.

Scott Stewart, Head of Barclays Scotland, said: “This crisis has had an unprecedented impact across Scotland with the pandemic doing untold damage to our economy.  It is more important than ever that we support an enterprise mind-set in Scotland, embedding entrepreneurial skills, and creating the conditions for growth.  The work of Young Enterprise Scotland is key in this respect, and we are delighted to help them expand their enterprise programmes, targeting the most deprived areas, through the Barclays 100x100 Community Aid Programme.”