The minister for enterprise and lifelong learning was visiting the Craft, Design and Technology Department at Lasswade High School to see for himself product design teaching materials developed at the school for use throughout the UK.
'IKEA are a household name, and are at the forefront of modern furniture design. This innovative collaboration in Midlothian is benefiting local pupils, teachers and the company itself.
'The Product Design Collection teaching package, featuring interactive DVDs and CDs, has been developed here for use nationally. This is part of a wider local involvement from IKEA. They also sponsor a Midlothian Design Competition for Standard grade pupils, and organise a Midlothian Design Day for Higher pupils and employees in conjunction with Napier and Strathclyde Universities.
'Enterprise in Education is focused on increasing pupils' understanding of, and interest in, work and enterprise. We want young people to enter the workplace with the right mix of skills - together with the self-confidence and drive to make the most of them. You simply can't beat hands-on experience, and I would like to see more companies and local authorities offering these kinds of opportunities.'
Speaking about funding, Mr Wallace continued:
'I have already announced funding for 10 authorities to take forward DtS activities. Starting today, the second phase of funding for the remaining 22 authorities will be rolled out. Our t otal investment of£40m in this strategy - and the real impact it is having in schools - shows the importance we place on fostering a culture of enterprise in Scotland.'
Midlothian's partnership with IKEA began in 1999. All the secondary schools in the area are involved.
The Executive published its Determined to Succeed strategy in March 2003. The Scottish Budget 2003-2006 has allocated£40 million to support the strategy. A Partnership for a Better Scotland states 'We will make sure that every pupil has the opportunity to learn entrepreneurial skills at school. We will expand the number of Scottish schools involved in Enterprise in Education from 10% to 100%.'
10 authorities have received funding to date - Argyll and Bute, Dundee, East Ayrshire, East Renfrewshire, Glasgow, North Lanarkshire, Aberdeen, Stirling, Highland and Western Isles - and£11.6m has been allocated. A further£20.7m is being allocated in the second phase. Midlothian Council are receiving£168,000 for 2004/05, and£370,000for 2005/06.
The balance of the Executive's funding is to take forward work with other stakeholders, including Learning and Teaching Scotland and Careers Scotland.