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Business studies, economics should be mandatory

Business studies, economics should be mandatory

The social research issued by Industry New Zealand: 'Promoting a Business and Enterprise Culture' is solid evidence for requiring subjects such as business studies and economics to be made mandatory at secondary level, the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) says.

"The research is timely. We warmly welcome it," said Alasdair Thompson, chief executive of the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern).

"The survey results bear out what we had suspected: New Zealanders don't understand that our standard of living depends on our success at business.

"At EMA we started Thrive! as well as other networking events for business people to applaud and celebrate their success.

"The research findings are not surprising given that business is hardly touched on right through the compulsory school years.

"No one is taught at school how New Zealand pays its bills.

"If we learned to go after business success with the same enthusiasm that we learn to play sport, no one would ever have to go to Australia for cancer treatment.

"Kiwis are pretty confused over the fundamental role played by business success for the future of our education, health, welfare and concern for the environment.

"Many don't seem to recognise they themselves are involved in business everyday as they help 'bring together resources and skills to create wealth.'

"Given that only six per cent of us think business or the economy are factors essential for an 'ideal' New Zealand, our very modest standard of living at present is actually a remarkable achievement. Think how well off we could all become if say, 20 per cent of us understood the importance of business to sustain our standard of living?

"It seems strange that nearly 94% of survey respondents admire people who start their own businesses but can name very few they regard as socially responsible. It's as if we acknowledge the challenges inherent in setting up a business and employing people, but not the large contributions to taxes, and to education, health and so on paid for by taxes, that such people make.

"The crux of the survey is in the findings that just 22% of us feel confident discussing economic issues.

"Plainly, if we are to get New Zealand back into the top half of OECD countries, business and/or economics will have to be made compulsory subjects at secondary school."

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