I am aware of the Certified Public Accountants Ireland Entrepreneurship Report which was published in 2012. The Primary School curriculum concentrates on the development of core communication skills and literacy and numeracy. The pupils are encouraged to be active and collaborative learners and to use ICT as a cross-curricular tool. The development of these skills provides them with the foundation for lifelong learning and for creating a culture of enterprise.
In October 2012, I published the Framework for Junior Cycle which acknowledges the key role of entrepreneurship. In its principles the Framework highlights the role of "creativity and innovation". There are Statements of Learning which specify what students should know, understand, value and be able to do at the end of junior cycle. A number of the statements are relevant to enterprise but one in particular emphasises that the students "should take initiative, be innovative and develop entrepreneurial skills".
In Senior Cycle, there are opportunities to develop entrepreneurial skills through, for example, the Leaving Certificate Business Studies course or through participation in the Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme Links modules and in the Leaving Certificate Applied. For Transition Year students there is the opportunity to participate in the Sean Lemass Awards that include the Transition Year Mini Company and its "Get up and Go" competition and the County/City Enterprise Board "Student Enterprise " Competition. In 2012, almost 10,000 students participated in the Transition Year programme and over 15,000 participated in the Student Enterprise Awards.
I welcome the CPA Report and its recommendation on entrepreneurship. I am committed to our young people developing entrepreneurial skills and a number of initiatives, as noted above, are in place to make this a reality.