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Six Nations invent ideas for European economic growth under Barclays – JA-YE Europe initiative

Brussels, Belgium, 21 October 2014

On Wednesday, Barclays launches its two year sponsorship partnership with JA-YE, kicking off a two-year plan with six innovation camps in Spain, Russia, Italy, France, Germany and Portugal on the theme of increasing economic growth.

Over the two years, fifteen thousand disadvantaged students aged 15 to 18 years old from economic blackspots will be given the chance to learn more about entrepreneurial skills, innovative thinking, problem solving and, and of these, a third (5000) will benefit from Barclays’ support to go further to take the new qualification for entrepreneurial learning, the Entrepreneurial Skills Pass (ESP), after they have passed through a year school programme in entrepreneurship, the JA-YE Europe Company Programme.

The Company Programme during the school-year provides hands-on skills and entrepreneurial experience for young students from disadvantaged areas in six European countries, improving their financial confidence and skills to get a job or start a business after a full year of training and practical experience. Those students who have successfully passed the ESP exam will be able to further access Barclays’ advice and resources such as business coaching and networking opportunities that can help their small businesses grow.

Beatriz Morilla, Head of Community Investment of Barclays Europe explained that “Barclays has a clear commitment: we want to provide 5 million young people with the skills they need to support themselves in the future. Therefore, we believe that fostering entrepreneurship among the next generation is key to achieve this. We have an ambitious objective and we have found the best partner, JA-YE Europe, to perform a comprehensive programme to reach our goal. The Innovation Camp is the first milestone of our partnership, which is being developed in 6 European countries where Barclays is present and we will impact 15,000 students over 2 years.”

To kick off the Barclays-JA-YE partnership, 400 students from six nations will take part in Innovation Camps from 22 October – 14 November. The students from low-income, public and vocational schools from geographical areas of high unemployment, in Madrid (22 Oct), Moscow (23-24 Oct), Milan (28 Oct), Lyon (13 Nov), Hamburg (14 Nov) and Lisbon (14 Nov) will be trained for a day, and then be ‘challenged’ to come up with innovative solutions to the problem of economic growth in their national economies, for example through tourism or agriculture initiatives. Though economic growth is a widespread problem, each country will receive a different ‘challenge’, potentially resulting in interesting differences in approaches and proposed solutions.

The students are mentored by volunteers from Barclays, themselves part of a ‘Make A Difference’ (MAD) employee volunteering initiative running for the 15th year this October, a programme which engages Barclays employees in building the skills of the next generation.

“We need young entrepreneurs, with new ideas, willing to change things“ says Diego Ferreiro, Head of Barclaycard in Spain, and company volunteer at the Madrid Innovation Camp. “ It is very enriching to get to know their ambitions, to share different points of view and to discover that your knowledge and expertise can encourage them to keep on studying and keep on shaping a better future”.

The JA-YE partnership with Barclays aims to inspire and prepare disadvantaged youth to succeed in a global economy through ‘learning-by-doing’ education designed to foster an entrepreneurial mindset, and through cementing these skills with a European certification that will open doors to further opportunities in their careers. At a critical age for any young person, the programme will aim to decrease the level of school drop-outs, and introduce entrepreneurship education in vocational schools.

For Barclays, ‘contributing to economic growth’ drives sustainable progress, through helping individuals, businesses and society. The work of the JA-YE Barclays partnership above all is to improve youth employability, particularly in unemployment black-spots that have a bleak future.

About JA-YE Europe

Junior Achievement-Young Enterprise Europe is Europe’s largest provider of entrepreneurship education programmes. JA-YE provides young people in primary and secondary schools and early university with high-quality education programmes to teach them about enterprise, entrepreneurship, business and economics in a practical way.

With Barclays sponsorship, students follow a graduated step-by-step progression through the Barclays JA-YE programme, enrolling in a full year course, the Company Programme, that takes place in schools from October, then taking part in the Innovation Camps in November, followed by the Company of the Year competition announced in June, and finally taking the Entrepreneurial Skills Pass written exam at the end of the school year.

For more information about JA-YE Europe, visit www.ja-ye.org

About Barclays

Barclays is an international financial services provider engaged in Personal banking, Credit cards, Corporate and Investment banking and Wealth Management with an extensive presence in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. Barclays’ purpose is to help people achieve their ambitions – in the right way.

With over 300 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 50 countries and employs approximately 135,000 people. Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for customers and clients worldwide.

For further information about Barclays, please visit our website www.barclays.com

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