It has also invested in the Microsoft Digital Academy at Accrington and Rossendale College, which also launched last year.
The LEP is now funding Digital Advantage in schools and colleges in Blackburn, Blackpool, Burnley, Chorley, Haslingden, Morecambe, Nelson, Preston, Leyland and Skelmersdale
The ground-breaking initiative is a Pop-Up Digital Agency delivered by The White Room and supported by Digital Lancashire. It offers 16-18 year olds 24 hours of work experience and training in specialist, practical digital skills with a further 24 hours of guided support.
Participants get help to develop and plan their own digital business start-up. In the style of the BBC’s Dragons’ Den, they will pitch their digital product or service to an industry panel, with the best winning the funds to start up a business.
Industry experts including Dom Williams, formerly of Fat Media, Simon Calderbank from Big Knows, Anne Williamson from Lucrative Marketing, together with Ezra Rushen from The White Room, are helping teach students.
Lisa Moizer, the LEP’s skills and employment hub manager, says: “We already have many world class digital businesses here in Lancashire and there is huge growth potential in the sector.
“The pace of technological change makes it difficult for schools and colleges to keep up-to-date, so there aren’t enough people leaving education with the digital skills employers need.
“We are creating a pipeline of students and graduates with cutting-edge creative and digital skills and, at the same time, improving their employability and life chances.
“Young people already taking part in Digital Advantage are enjoying it immensely and learning a huge amount. All we need now is more industry leaders prepared to pass on their knowledge and offer interviews to the graduates of Digital Advantage. “
Andy Lovatt, founder and managing director of The White Room, says: “Schools and colleges have really bought into the concept and the young people are already coming up with some great business ideas.