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Teen tycoons

Teenage fans of The Apprentice, the televised search by Sir Alan Sugar (below) for a talented young executive, will soon be able to test their own business acumen at school.

An initiative to get more 14-to 19-year-olds interested in business is being launched at 50 schools across the country, with the backing of Gordon Brown, the Chancellor.

Young Chamber, which opens channels of communication between businesses and young people, will partner schools with local companies, giving pupils the chance to run events and test their entrepreneurial skills.

The pound;2.9 million scheme, which is being funded by the Department for Education and Skills, will start in September and be run in specialist business and enterprise colleges. The first wave of schools to take part will be announced next month.

As well as providing activities, businesses will give advice to teachers on topics such as employability and enterprise skills.

The programme has been designed by the British Chambers of Commerce and the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust. David Frost, the director general of the BCC, said the chambers recognised their responsibility to work with young people and show them opportunities available locally.

* www.youngchamber.com

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