A £70,000 pilot project aimed at preparing youngsters for the world of work is set to benefit more than 1,000 Birmingham schoolchildren.

Schools Linking Network (SLN) and Ashram Housing Association are to work with 30 secondary schools in the city over the next three years to deliver the pioneering project.

Funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government, it will target pupils who are set to enter the workplace - working with teachers to focus on equipping young people with the skills needed, in addition to academic qualifications, to successfully secure work or start their own enterprises.

Jas Bains, chief executive of Ashram Housing Association, said: “We are delighted to be working with the Schools Linking Network and the Department for Communities and Local Government to spearhead this pilot project in Birmingham.

“It will help to build upon and enhance enterprise education and entrepreneurship taking place across the city, capturing the talent that can often slip through the system.

“Additionally it will equip pupils with the skills and knowledge that they need to secure work, which in this current economic climate, where young people are disproportionately affected, is more important than ever.”

The initiative will focus on increasing employability and fostering enterprise amongst young people and will be implemented via a variety of workshops and sessions, personalised to the needs of each school and its pupils.

Birmingham’s pilot is part of a national initiative which will bring together the business community and more than 120 schools across the UK.

Linda Cowie, adviser at the Schools Linking Network (SLN), said: “The partnership will deliver a dynamic, connected programme where young people learn essential skills and are motivated to become active, productive and responsible citizens.”

Communities Minister Don Foster added: “Establishing partnerships between schools and local business will play a crucial role in increasing the opportunities and life chances of pupils.”