A SIXTH form college has teamed up with a business network to offer an innovative scheme to help young people achieve their dreams in the business world.

Wensleydale School and Sixth Form College has relaunched its sixth form offering as a Business and Innovation Centre, affiliated with Dragon's Den's Peter Jones Foundation, and is now working with the Lower Wensleydale Business Network to give teens a head start.

Assistant headteacher Charles Barnett said: "This is brand new this year. We are no longer a traditional sixth form as we wanted to focus on doing business really well. We have five courses available with a business qualification.

"What makes us special is that each student gets paired up with a local business mentor and they get an internship with a business.

"They can talk to their mentors about IT, what they think they need to work on, and they produce a special project at the end of the year. They get far more work experience than in a traditional sixth form."

He added: "They will leave the college at 18 with excellent skills needed to go either into working with a local business or setting up on their own."

David Poole, from Lower Wensleydale Business Network, said: "Our objective is to try and retain our young people, and also to support small businesses in the Dales.

"We have a five-step scheme, which includes us going into school with local businesses to give talks; helping businesses to take on apprentices; helping the school change to the Business and Innovation Centre; helping young people set up businesses; and allow students to become associate members of the LWBN.

"We have teamed up with other local business networks in Richmond and Bedale to give the young people a wider area.

"We are very positive about how it is going so far."