Teenage whizzkid who was banned from leaving school to run his own company gets around the problem – by hiring himself as an apprentice
Categories: Life Stories
- Ben Towers started digital agency Towers Design more than five years ago
- 17-year-old wanted to focus on business instead of going to sixth form
- Law states students cannot leave full-time education or training until 18
- Decided to hire himself as an apprentice at his company to get round law
Ben Towers started digital agency Towers Design more than five years ago and has since won multiple awards for his work.
The 17-year-old, from Gillingham, Kent, wanted to focus on his business instead of going to sixth form - but the law dictates students can't leave full-time education or training until the age of 18.
'It's a bit mind boggling.'
Ben made £50 from his first sale in 2010 - more than 10 times his weekly pocket money at the time.
Ben, a former Rainham Mark Grammar School student, decided to hire himself as an apprentice at his own company so he could leave school to concentrate on his business
WHAT IS THE LAW?
Under Raising the Participation Age (RPA) requirements, young people have a choice about how they continue in education beyond the age of 16.
Their options are:
- Full-time study in a school, college or with a training provider
- Full-time work or volunteering (20 hours or more) combined with regulated part-time education or training (at least one day per week)
- An apprenticeship or traineeship.
He now employs 15 consultants and has more than 750 clients.
Ben, who won the NatWest Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award, added: 'It's going really well. Earlier on today we launched our social media workshops - we want to help small business with social media.
'You've got companies like Virgin putting millions into social media but smaller business can't afford to.'
To celebrate the sixth anniversary of the business - as well as his 17th birthday - Ben is offering his customers a special offer on business cards and personal calling cards.
The Education and Skills Act 2008 states that all young people have to stay on in education or training until they are 18 years old.
Youths have the choice of further education, such as A-levels or diplomas, work-based learning including apprenticeships or volunteering, if they are doing more than 20 hours a week.