SMALL and medium sized businesses are being urged to chip in and help young people forge the right path in their future working lives.

Supporters of 'Give An Hour' are appealing for East Lancashire's workplace leaders to set aside a short amount time so their potential future employees can pick the career which suits them.

Backed by The Careers and Enterprise Company (CEC) and Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, the initiative will be running for two months, it has been announced.

Amanda Melton, the LEP's board director for skills and technical education, said: "We're looking for anything from a single hour in total to an hour a week and there are lots of ways to get involved, depending on what suits participants."

Stuart Graham, senior enterprise co-ordinator for Inspira, added: "Not only is it proven to be beneficial for a young person to have strong links with local businesses, it also makes perfect sense for employers."

And Paul Spencer, whose firm Haworth Chartered Accountants in Accrington has partnered with St Christopher's CE High for the venture, said: "Working with local colleges and schools is extremely rewarding. Not only do we help to inspire young people, we can make a real difference to their lives, and help produce future leaders."

Richard Jones, St Christopher's head, added: "“Work experience and careers education is an integral part of the curriculum at St Christopher’s. The industry experience that employers are able to provide is invaluable to our young people."

Firms can visit or e-mail for details.