One of the weaknesses of the Determined to Succeed strategy was its failure to "mobilise that direct school-employer engagement to the extent needed", said Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop as she launched its second phase this week.
She wanted to see "far more seamless and natural relationships" developing in future.
The new era of the programme also aims to embed enterprise education in the new curriculum, so youngsters leave school with skills for work, skills for life and skills for learning. It will target two groups - children in the early years and those destined to be in the Neet group (not in education, employment or training) - to ensure they develop a "can do" attitude and are aware of the opportunities awaiting them in the workplace.
Speaking following an awards ceremony in Edinburgh to mark the involvement of schools around Scotland in social enterprises, Ms Hyslop said: "We want to take Determined to Succeed to a whole new level. This is about recognising what we have done in the past, but we want far greater employer engagement in the scheme with schools. We will be stepping up our efforts with employers, encouraging them to engage, and highlighting the exciting career opportunities out there."
Greater engagement with employers will benefit teachers as well as pupils, allowing them to gain more experience of entrepreneurship and "employment situations outwith school to enable them to better relate to the world of work", she continued.
Ms Hyslop added that work placements for staff would be developed further than they have been to date. She also promised more support for teachers in the form of "online CPD resources" and said she expected organisations like Skills Development Scotland to help schools improve their links with business.
Determined to Succeed was introduced five years ago with the aim of preparing youngsters for life beyond school.
The Scottish Government has committed pound;22 million a year to fund the programme from 2008-11. It is now the only ring-fenced fund in the education and lifelong learning budget.