Business skills school curriculum is long overdue

You may have missed it last week but the federal government actually made a sensible policy announcement that will benefit small businesses in Australia.

Education Minister Peter Garrett announced the fundamentals of economics and business will be taught in Years 5 and 6 for the first time nationally.

The aim is for primary school students to learn vital consumer and financial skills which will give them a strong base for senior school studies of economics and business.

“Economics and business are fundamental for a productive economy and the wellbeing of all Australians,” Garrett said in a statement.

“This curriculum will equip the next generation of entrepreneurs, innovators and businesspeople to continue to grow the Australian economy as well as take advantage of the global business opportunities the Asian Century will bring.”

It’s strange to think economics, business and entrepreneurship hasn’t been included on our primary school curriculums before this

To turn Australia into an entrepreneurial nation more needs to be done to foster entrepreneurship and create a culture that values people who are prepared to take risks and go out and do it on their own.

Business shouldn’t be confined to the business pages of papers or websites like SmartCompany, and school is a great place to start.

There’s a reason lots of little kids want to be bus drivers or, more recently (and sadly), contestants on reality TV shows, that’s who they are exposed to in their day-to-day life.

It’s important for young kids to be exposed to successful businesspeople and understand that there are a variety of career paths and that they can be entrepreneurial in whatever walk of life they choose.

Hopefully the change to the curriculum will also mean that kids understand that being entrepreneurial or starting your own business is not something that requires an innate natural talent.

Entrepreneurship and business skills can be taught and, most importantly, Australian kids can be given the confidence and know-how to get out there and to it themselves.

Putting business, economics and entrepreneurship on the curriculum is a move that is long overdue.

It values the contribution that small business makes to Australia’s community by creating jobs and financial and social wealth.

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