A local entrepreneur is warning that the Government is totally unprepared for the ‘unemployment nightmare’ caused by the public sector shedding tens of thousands of management-level jobs in 2011.
Iain Scott, who supplies bespoke enterprise programmes, said: “The private sector will not soak up all the public sector redundancies due to take effect over the coming year, and the Jobcentre Plus network is simply not geared up to deal with these skilled professionals.”
That view is reinforced by statistics just published by the South West RDA, which show that the south west has the fourth highest concentration of public sector workers of any region in England, put at 528,000 in the first quarter of 2010, or 21.2% of the region’s workforce.
The RDA has predicted that public sector cuts will see 100,000 jobs lost in the south west in the next four years – 86,000 as a direct result of spending cuts, and the rest through knock-on impacts.
Now Wadebridge-based Scott has come up with an alternative to unemployment for public sector workers which he hopes will spark an enterprise revolution.
Instead of joining the dole queue, he wants them to consider setting up businesses. And to enable them to do that, he has created a new, one-day programme aimed at changing their mind set from career manager to entrepreneur.
Launching in Plymouth next month during Enterprise Week and in association with Enterprise Plymouth, ‘The Accidental Entrepreneur’ will offer skilled professionals the chance to discover if starting a business is something that could work for them.
He said: “Our research has shown that only 15% of public sector employees have ever thought of setting up a business – compared to more than 50% in the rest of the population.
“But with redundancy staring them in the face, and a shrinking private sector, they are going to have to look at alternatives to re-employment. Setting up a business isn’t something most of these people planned to do, it has happened by accident. That’s why we’ve called the new programme ‘The Accidental Entrepreneur’.”
The Accidental Entrepreneur roadshow will be in Plymouth on Friday November 19, with other dates planned in Newcastle and Sheffield. The cost per participant for the all-day session is £179 plus VAT.
Online bookings can be made at www.enterprisecafe.co.uk by going to The Accidental Entrepreneur page.