Dragon’s Den star Peter Jones has backed a county college looking to unearth the next generation of entrepreneurs and stem the tide of young people struggling to find work.
From September, Tresham College will be running courses backed by Mr Jones’ Enterprise Academy, which aims to give young people the chance to develop their entrepreneurial skills.
Mr Jones says it is vital to encourage young people to consider this career path in the wake of record levels of youth unemployment.
Tresham is the first further education college in Northamptonshire to receive this backing, and it means it will be running the BTEC Level 3 in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at its Kettering campus from the start of the next academic year.
The course will be a mixture of practical learning and classroom-based study, and will see students work with a range of companies and entrepreneurs providing hands-on business experience.
As part of the one year course local and national business representatives will visit students on a regular basis to provide master classes, workshops, challenges and sit on Dragon’s Den style pitching panels.
Mr Jones launched the academy in 2009, arguing that despite the economy relying on small and medium-sized businesses, the development of young entrepreneurs was “grossly neglected”.
He said: “With record levels of youth unemployment, I believe it is vital to inspire more young people across Britain to consider a different career path – an entrepreneurial one.
“It is fantastic to have Tresham College on board as part of our nationwide college network.
“Our students represent a new and exciting generation that have been rewired with the skills, confidence, the self-belief and the ambition to pursue their dreams.”
Tresham principal Stuart Wesselby said: “We are delighted. This innovative course encourages young people to develop the vital skills needed to survive in this ever increasingly competitive market for new businesses.”
Tresham is holding open days from April 17 to 19 for anyone interested.