St Albans MP Anne Main champions employment initiative

BUDDING entrepreneurs in the district are being championed by St Albans MP Anne Main who is backing a youth employment initiative.

Mrs Main has pledged her support for the Virgin Media Pioneers scheme which is campaigning to change the Student Loans Fund to a Youth Investment Fund, where loans at favourable rates are made available as start-up capital for young entrepreneurs, not just as loans for prospective students.

The Conservative MP said: “Getting young people into work is extremely challenging at the moment so I want to explore every avenue that could help tackle youth unemployment. I know from personal experience that setting up your own business is a daunting prospect for anyone but I firmly believe the creativity and the ideas are out there.

“Virgin Media Pioneers’ campaign for a Youth Investment Fund is the result of young entrepreneurs themselves keen not to be forgotten and asking for support. I wish this scheme had been around when I started my own business many years ago, and I am delighted to back the campaign and will take it to Government to see if the proposal can be turned into action.”

The Government is now considering the proposal, with Prime Minister David Cameron responding positively to the idea.

He said: “There’s a very good idea in there which is that, okay, we are providing loans for students to go to university – why not look at something similar for people who have got a great business idea and want to get on and start that business? I think this is a brilliant idea and we are looking very closely at it.”

St Albans resident Zoe Jackson, who set up Living the Dream Performing Arts Company when she was 16, is part of the Virgin Media Pioneers community and was involved in the Control Shift report, which recommended the Youth Investment Fund.