The new Masters course in business, Futures MBA, launched at Wrekin College with 100 free places sponsored by Telford & Wrekin Council, up for grabs to youngsters aged 15 to 18.
This age group has had its key exam years disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic and three national lockdowns.
The course will offer essential employability skills while each of those taking part will get a CV-enhancing experience led by industry leaders and university-level lecturers and the young people will be supported throughout by high profile mentors.
Youngsters from across Telford have been invited to apply for a free place, with prizes also up for grabs for top performers across a variety of disciplines.
There will be a graduation ceremony at the end of the three-week course with an event also planned to help young people network with key employers and showcase their business ideas to ‘re-imagine’ their local high street of the future.
Councillor Lee Carter, cabinet member for neighbourhood, commercial services & regeneration at Telford & Wrekin Council, said: “The council is sponsoring this fantastic opportunity for the young people of Telford in recognition of the disruption that they have suffered during the pandemic.
"We have been encouraging young people in Telford to contribute ideas to regenerate our high streets and this course will give them that chance but also provide them with an experience that will help them get ahead and learn skills that will give them a great start whatever route they decide to take after school."
Director of the Wrekin College Business School Donna Irving said: “We are all too aware of how the jobs market has changed in recent years and the pandemic has only added to what is a tough environment for young people.
“There is a growing trend now among A-level students to consider alternatives to university while even those who are committed to that path want to ensure they have access to employability skills and not just traditional academic qualifications.
“We feel this immersive business course will encourage entrepreneurial thinking and will be a vital tool in helping youngsters to really get ahead in the jobs market, showcase employability skills, and demonstrate that they have some real-life experience of how a workplace operates outside of the classroom. This will show them and a potential employer how they can make a real impact wherever they go to work.
"It’s a real link between academic thought leadership and how businesses actually operate in the real world."
Wrekin College ran a mini MBA for its students last year when exams were cancelled amid the pandemic and it proved a resounding success, attracting more than 60 youngsters who volunteered to take part.
Wrekin students were also winners last year of Telford & Wrekin Council’s Young Entrepreneurs Challenge for their creative ideas for regenerating local high streets and this MBA builds on that experience.
Wrekin’s Business School has partnered with Telford College and leading Midlands employer Capgemini to run the new programme.
Youngsters are being urged to apply for a place now with applications open at www.wrekincollege.com/futures-mba
The course is due to start on June 7.
Ian Cornelius, from Aston Business School which will help deliver the course, said: “The Futures MBA has been designed to mirror the very best practice in business school MBAs.
"It balances contemporary core business skills with essential employability skills to create a compelling offering for young people. Whether applying for university or moving directly into employment, the Futures MBA will give your CV a unique and vital edge."
The course will include nine workshops delivered by experienced business school MBA lecturers and industry experts, with additional content available online for individuals to learn at their own time and pace.
The graduation and networking event with industry leaders from across the region will be on June 29.