David Cameron has appointed the star of The Apprentice, Alan Sugar, as his enterprise tsar, it has been announced.
His appointment is part of a drive to encourage more young people to start up their own businesses and will champion the apprenticeships programme.
According to Downing Street, he will carry out a series of roadshows events where he will speak to school leavers and businesses.
The move will come as a particular coup for the Prime Minister as Lord Sugar spectacularly quit the Labour Party last year, slamming its economic policies on the way out of the exit door.
It is the second time the peer had taken on the role – he was made enterprise tsar by then-prime minister Gordon Brown in 2009 when his appointment was criticised as a “publicity stunt”.
Lord Sugar said on Wednesday: “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.
“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.”
Lord Sugar announced he was leaving the Labour Party just after the General Election, denouncing it for “negative business policies and the general anti-enterprise concepts”.
He said he had “lost confidence” in the party under Ed Miliband’s leadership because it had made a “policy shift moving back towards what Old Labour stood for”.
He said he signed up to New Labour in 1997 when “true enterprise was being supported by the party”.
Before that he had been a critic of the party, writing a letter to the Financial Times in 1992 in which he lambasted Gordon Brown, who had accused him of doing well out of the recession.
He concluded the letter by saying: “Labour offers no route out of recession.”
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.”