Lord Sugar has been reappointed as enterprise tsar as part of the government’s drive to get more young people to start their own business.
The move has been seen as a major coup for the Conservatives – Lord Sugar quit the Labour Party last year after becoming disillusioned with its "negative business policies" and "anti-enterprise concepts".
As well as championing enterprise and apprenticeships among young people, he will encourage businesses to take on apprentices themselves, part of the team responsible for delivering the government's pledge of creating three million apprenticeships by 2020.
Lord Sugar, one of the best known names in British business, built up two successful computer firms – Amstrad and Viglen – after leaving school at 16.
The Apprentice presenter will be undertaking a series of roadshow events across England, speaking to local school leavers and businesses.
A "delighted” Lord Sugar said: “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. 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.
He added: “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.”
Skills minister Nick Boles said: “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. 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."