Students have been given a unique insight into the world of work during a pioneering education event in Birmingham.
The UK Career Academy Foundation (UKCAF) has joined forces with Birmingham City University's Technology Innovation Centre (TIC) and BT to help the young people improve their business awareness, employability and life skills.
More than 80 students, aged 16 or 17, took part in the education day last Thursday at the Millennium Point-based TIC.
Volunteers from BT, were mentors for the students who represented colleges including Birmingham's City College, Bournville College, Waseley Hills School, Coventry's Caludon Castle School, Nuneaton's King Edward VI College, Shelfield Sports and Community College in Walsall and Heath Park Business and Enterprise College in Wolverhampton.
The BT teams and students were joined by guests from key businesses and supporters of UKCAF - including LloydsTSB, Aston University and Coventry Building Society - who put the young people through their networking paces, with prizes for the most effective communicators.
The teenagers are all business studies students undertaking the innovative two-year Career Academy programme.
With the support of 400 employers and 1,500 employee volunteers across the UK, the Career Academy programme provides business networks and experiences for young people from diverse urban backgrounds who would not normally have access to such opportunities.
Dave Hancock, BT's head of education and volunteering, said: "This event provides a first class opportunity for young people to work with volunteers from BT to develop those communications and networking skills, which are such a vital part of business life. "BT's 'Better World Campaign' includes an education programme designed to improve young people's communication skills - a key area for potential employers.
"Our link with the UK Career Academy Foundation allows BT's free resources to be made available to young people about to enter the world of work. "