Teens take part in pilot

A GROUP of teenagers are refusing to put their feet up and relax this summer, keen to continue at school.

The 16 to 18-year-olds are spending the holidays learning about business – at a special Enterprise Summer School.

The school – funded by North Tyneside Learning Trust and delivered by North Tyneside Council – is a six-week intensive programme to help students develop their own business ideas, supported by local experts.

Over six weeks the teenagers learn about starting and running their own business and study practical, work-related subjects, including business accounting, marketing and market research.

Nine pupils from Longbenton Community College and Whitley Bay High School were the first to sign up to the pilot scheme, led by local entrepreneur Carol Metcalfe, business advisor David Ireland, and staff from the council’s education, enterprise and economy team.

Carol said: “I think it’s wonderful that we’re able to offer our budding businesspeople this kind of mentoring and support.

“We’ve got a fantastic group who are brimming with ideas and enthusiasm, and we’ll be working to tease those ideas into viable business plans.”

Pupil Joe Brown, 17, from Forest Hall, said: “This summer school has been a really inspirational experience.

“I want to get involved in business because that is where the money is – and if you have a strong understanding of it, it will give you the knowledge needed to get involved in most industries.

“It’s been great to learn in this way. I suppose it’s like the TV show The Apprentice, and who knows, one of us may even be on it one day.”

The students have researched their business ideas, examined market research and business techniques, and begun to develop their business models.

On Tuesday, September 6, they will present their ideas to a panel of business experts.

They will then ‘graduate’ from the Business Summer School, and be assigned their own personal business mentor to help them to develop their ideas further.

The best business plan will receive a package of support including help to produce marketing materials for a new business.