Black Country business leaders and educationalists have launched a joint programme to find the next generation of entrepreneurs from Sandwell.
The Chamber of Commerce and Sandwell Education Business Partnership are encouraging local businesses to engage with schools and students from across the borough.
The chamber has appointed an enterprise champion, David Lindsay, to co-ordinate the initiative.
He said: "The recent Education White Paper calls for business and education to work more closely, tackling together the skills gap that is threatening our future prosperity.
"Through this initiative Sandwell is already ahead of the game. Our business leaders are getting involved with schools and we will be addressing the need for teachers to be linked more closely with businesses.
"We aim to significantly increase the number of local employers contributing to enterprise and work-related learning for pupils in Sandwell. Students will be offered a range of potential career experiences to allow them to develop and realise their ambitions with employers from all sectors of industry and commerce.
"Schools have high levels of resource in teachers, pupils and facilities that can offer much to local companies. In return, businesses are one of the best places for students to improve their suitability for future employment."
The launch will take place at St Michael's Business and Enterprise Specialist School, Throne Road, Rowley Regis on November 16. Stewart Towe, chairman of the Black Country Consortium and of Black Country Chamber of Commerce, will talk about improving links between business and education.
The first students have been involved in a real work challenges customised to meet school specialisms, curriculum needs and occupational developments. These have taken in leisure and tourism, catering, languages, and architectural design.
Sandwell Chamber director Tony Carroll said: "All key players in today's business and education sectors must ensure they are investing in and doing all they can to support Sandwell's future workforce."