Youth Business International supports underserved young entrepreneurs (18 – 35 years) to start, grow and sustain their businesses – enabling them to create jobs, build communities and transform lives. With 66 million young people currently unemployed across the world, YBI addresses the youth employment crisis.

They realise young people are critical to future economic development and develop initiatives to empower young people to succeed in running their own business. YBI recently contacted James and asked him to be part of a BBC4 Radio appeal. James immediately responded and welcomed the opportunity to become involved. James has a passion for supporting young entrepreneurs and really understands the need for a package of support for young entrepreneurs to succeed. James believes “soft skills” such as teamwork, communication and timekeeping lead to better productivity.

He is anxious to get this message over to young people at the start of their careers because he firmly believes that these skills can help open the gateways to opportunity for them.

In July 1st 2015 a report entitled ‘The Value of Soft Skills to the Economy’, was published, indicating that ‘soft skills’ will boost an individual’s salary by 15% over their lifetime. It also estimated that the value of soft skills to the UK economy is around £88 billion, and that this could grow to more than £127 billion by 2025. James, who backed this report, said they were “vital” and “could make or break businesses and careers. From chief executives of major companies to young people in their first job, everyone needs these skills to work to their full potential and help make their business productive and high-performing.

James believes that today’s business environment is more competitive than ever, and that we need people with the right skills to stay ahead of the widening productivity gap. If we succeed, the prize is worth more than £109 billion to the UK economy by 2020, and it will make a real difference to both the careers and lives of millions of people. James continues to work with young entrepreneurs to help ‘future-proof’ them and to best prepare them for the challenges that lay ahead.