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Plan to find next SA Zuckerberg already here: Libs

Business

The world’s next Richard Branson or Mark Zuckerberg could be plucked from a South Australian high school classroom if a two-year-old Liberal education policy is taken up to teach students entrepreneurship.

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Responding to calls by SA business leaders for entrepreneurship to be taught as a core subject, Opposition Education, Families and Training spokesman David Pisoni told InDaily such a framework had already been released by SA Liberals during the 2014 election campaign.

Pisoni said the Libs released their ‘Entrepreneurial Education’ policy during the campaign, including plans to introduce a curriculum to teach secondary students the skills to start and run a business.

He said the course would be the first of its kind for Australian secondary schools.

“It showed Steve Marshall was right on the money and Labor were disconnected,” Pisoni said.

“The focus has been on students becoming employees rather than employers.

“This gives the students more options … self employment is an option and [this course would enable students to] be more prepared to start their own business.

“Basically we’ve seen the contributions small business has made to South Australia and more people should have that opportunity to make those [career] choices.”

The appeal for entrepreneurship to be taught in secondary schools was made by some of the state’s leading business minds at the launch of InDaily’s SA Business Index Top 100.

During a panel discussion, Uber Australia’s general manager David Rohrsheim received applause after calling for entrepreneurial skills to be introduced to the state school curriculum.

Director of UniSA’s Centre for Business Growth Professor Jana Matthews added the country was missing an opportunity to tap into and nurture a pool of young businesses talent.

The entrepreneurial course would begin as a pilot program at three select high schools and engage businesses and leaders as mentors.

Pisoni said SA relied on small business but there were no subjects to guide students or nurture developing business talent.

“One of the things we do well in this state is niche business,” he said.

“This would be the beginning of South Australia’s rebirth as a state of business.”

A spokesman from the Department of Education and Child Development said South Australia was fully implementing the Australian curriculum, which included economics and business components.

“Economics and Business is mandatory from year 7 to year 10 and includes a focus on entrepreneurial skills and thinking,” the spokesman said.

“For instance, in year 7 students explore the characteristics of successful businesses and consider how entrepreneurial behaviour contributes to business success.”

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