Dundee widens access and horizons

March 16, 2001

Dundee University is helping young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to raise sponsorship for voluntary work overseas.

The Centre for Enterprise Management, opened this week by Wendy Alexander, Scotland's minister for enterprise and lifelong learning, is Dundee's contribution to the Scottish Institute for Enterprise, a partnership between industry and the universities of Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Heriot-Watt and Strathclyde.

The CEM's targets range from students to managers of established companies. A locally organised scheme, Link Overseas Exchange, allows young people to help in a developing country for up to six months.

Malcolm Horner, CEM director, said: "Most of the kids come from middle-class families. We want to extend the scheme to disadvantaged children, but they face the barrier of raising £1,800 to finance (the trip)."

The university hopes to encourage industry to sponsor such students to go overseas to investigate import-export opportunities. "We would like to create a pathway for children from disadvantaged backgrounds into permanent and sustainable employment through entrepreneurship," he said.

The centre also hopes to rekindle the spirit of entrepreneurship in mature companies through the "Plato" scheme. This brings together managers from established companies and emerging companies to discuss problems and possible support and training.

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