Alan Sugar appointed as David Cameron's new enterprise Tsar

The peer has previously been critical of David Cameron and previously served under Labour

Jon Stone
Wednesday 25 May 2016 15:17
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Lord Sugar advised the last Labour government (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
Lord Sugar advised the last Labour government (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Businessman and The Apprentice star Alan Sugar has been appointed as David Cameron’s new enterprise tsar.

Lord Sugar, who founded computer company Amstrad in 1968, will “champion enterprise across the country” and embark on a roadshow to showcase the advantages of apprentices.

The broadcaster sits as a crossbench peer in the House of Lords and served as Gordon Brown’s enterprise tsar from 2009 to 2010.

Lord Sugar said he would be travelling the “length and breadth of this country” to advocate that young people take apprenticeships.

“I’m delighted to be taking on this challenge. I built successful businesses with the support of hundreds of talented young people who learned their skills on the job – exactly the kinds of skills you learn in an apprenticeship,” he said.

“But not enough of our young people know about apprenticeships and what they offer, and too few feel empowered to set up their own business.

“I’ll be travelling the length and breadth of this country to tell young people why apprenticeships are a great way for them to build their skills – and talking about the opportunities for starting their own business, hopefully instilling some entrepreneurial spirit.”

Conservative Skills Minister Nick Boles said Lord Sugar, formerly Sir Alan, has “huge credibility” with young people.

“We want every young person in Britain to get on and build a great life for themselves, whether it’s by starting an apprenticeship or setting up their own business,” he said.

“Lord Sugar has huge credibility among young people and I am delighted that he has agreed to help the government bang the drum for apprenticeships and enterprise.”

Relations between the Conservative party and Lord Sugar have not always been so cordial.

In 2009 David Cameron reportedly said of The Apprentice and its presenter: “I hate both of them. I can’t bear Alan Sugar.”

The peer hit back: “I’m glad he can’t bear me. Perhaps he will stop asking people to sound me out if I want to meet him and defect to his party.”

During the New Labour period Lord Sugar was a member of the Labour party. He however left days after the 2015 general election, warning that he had lost confidence in it due to what he called “general anti-enterprise concepts” in its thinking.

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