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Dr Christos Pitelis, Cambridge Judge Business School: A culture of dependency

Dr Christos Pitelis warns that a culture of dependence is hindering the emergence of young entrepreneurs across Europe

A culture of dependence is hindering the emergence of young entrepreneurs, according to Dr Christos Pitelis, Director of the Centre for International Business & Management (CIBAM) at Cambridge Judge Business School.

He was speaking after a panel discussion titled ‘Job Mismatch and the Pursuit of Talent’ which was chaired by Professor Vicky Pryce, Senior Managing Director, FTI Consulting.

Dr Pitelis believes that human capital is, and always has been, the most important determinant of economic development, and that young people today – the human capital of the future – are underutilised.

“In many countries today we have youth unemployment rates in some cases of 50 per cent. These are the people who are meant to drive future growth and given that these are often specialist and educated people it means we are doing something very wrong.”

He feels that Europe has created a problem through what he calls a ‘culture of dependency’ for the younger generation.

“This culture does not allow the emergence of young entrepreneurs who can leverage imagination.

“We have limited the imagination of youth to getting a safe, solid, public sector job for life. This is not the model for the way forward. We need to encourage entrepreneurship and to even reconsider the purpose of a degree. It may be seen as a means to acquire general purpose technology or a general purpose education on which we can build an entrepreneurial career, not necessarily a means to an end for securing a job in a big solid organisation – whether public or private – and for life. We need imagination.”

Guest speakers included Dr Philip Stiles, Co-Director of the Centre for International Human Resource Management, Cambridge Judge Business School; Professor Vicky Pryce Senior Managing Director, FTI Consulting; Mr Stefano Scarpetta, Deputy Director, OECD, Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs; Professor John Philpott, Chief Economist, The Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD); and Mr Albert Hakkers, Human Resources Director Europe, Diageo.