2016 Is the Year of Innovation, Says East Gippsland Youth Ambassadors

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By Netania Lim

With Youth Parliament debating entrepreneurship classes, phrases like “ideas boom” is thrown around like confetti.

Six East Gippsland Youth Ambassadors debated the bill, Mandatory Entrepreneurship Classes in Secondary Schools, in today’s YMCA Youth Parliament.

The bill aims to help young people understand how businesses and communities work, enabling them to then run their own business in the future.

“We need to back entrepreneurs because they are the secret to the growth of our economy and our nation,” sponsoring team member Kathleen Stewart said, quoting Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

The bill would create a government body that would send trained professionals to schools to promote a range of skills the young parliamentarians believe are needed for employment.

“It will accommodate incredibly useful certifications to increase their employability,” said Ms Stewart.

But the refuting team believe the bill has negative effects.

“It could instil a false sense of confidence in them,” they said in debate. “When their ideas fail them, they end up with little options.”

And opponents were not swayed by the innovation hype.

“We cannot create legislation on a buzzword,” they said.

The opponents of the bill also questioned the promotion of capitalism and corrupt businesses in schools.

According to the Harvard Business Review, Australia is a “stall out nation”. The nation has lost momentum and is falling behind in innovation, despite its achievements in the past.

Sponsoring team member Sarah Collier wants this to change. She wants students to “find their passions”.

“Passions are linked with the desire to help others, to teach, to lead,” she said. “They’re not limited by their passions.”

Her team member David Storey-Mills thinks the bill will promote alternative thinking.

“Every person has hopes and dreams,” he said. “Youth have the biggest hopes and dreams, and some of the most creative.”

The bill passed 38 to 15 and will go on to state parliament at the end of Youth Parliament.

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