Budding entrepreneurs at Blackburn College have the chance to set up and run their own business for up to 12 months, in a bid to be the next Sir Alan Sugar.
University Centre students will hone their skills through the Young Enterprise Start-Up programme, to stay one step ahead in an increasingly competitive job market.
The programme is part of a national competition, where students will showcase and pitch their business to a team of judges, receiving industry mentoring along the way.
Various companies have come on board to give the Blackburn College students invaluable experience into the world of work through a series of workshops.
Over the coming months, teams of students will receive a valuable insight into sales from O2, presentation skills from the English Speaking Board and visual merchandising from John Lewis.
Employability events will also be held at Manchester Airport in October and Barclays Bank in November.
This will culminate in a trade fair held at Blackburn College in January where the winning team will be chosen to take part in a regional final at the University of Chester in February.
Caroline Bracewell, Academic Subject Leader Business and Accounting, said it was important that students have the opportunity to develop their enterprise skills.
Caroline said: “The benefits a student has from working with an employer are very important. It enables the student to develop a network, and once they are working with an employer they gain additional business contacts.
“Employers can also help students see how they can put their academic learning into practice. Employers’ feedback is important as students actually have the opportunity to learn from a wealth of experience in work, and they can also develop new skills and approaches.”
Start-Up supports a range of courses from Sports Science to Business or Management Studies.
The programme has been specifically designed for Higher Education and Further Education students to enhance their experience and learning.
By taking part, students not only understand what skills employers are looking for, but they will also have the chance to develop and apply these skills in the workplace.