TALENTED youngsters from Kirklees area schools can put their business skills to the test in a national competition to find the next crop of high-flying entrepreneurs.

Cable television, phone and internet company Virgin Media has teamed up with The Bright Ideas Trust to launch Virgin Media Sparks, a competition for business-minded youngsters.

Teenagers aged 13 to 18 will be asked to pitch their ideas for an internet-based business, with the winner getting £1,000 towards setting up their venture, plus a laptop and the services of a business mentor.

The winner will also get to meet Tim Campbell, founder of The Bright Ideas Trust and winner of the first series of BBC TV’s The Apprentice.

The competition follows a survey of 700 Huddersfield teenagers by Virgin Media which showed that 22% were running online businesses from their bedrooms.

Students in Huddersfield who think they can make the grade can enter the competition online at www.virginmedia.com/sparks

The deadline for entries is Friday, May 2.

Tim said: “I’m delighted to be partnering Virgin Media Sparks to celebrate the ingenuity and creativity of today’s teens.

“As the first winner of The Apprentice and founder of The Bright Ideas Trust it’s great to see young people showing an interest in business and using their time wisely to develop their skills and ideas.”

James Kydd, managing director of brand and marketing at Virgin Media, said: “The internet has become an important tool for business and a great way for our youth to explore money-making ideas.”