YOUNG people in Huddersfield are being inspired to be whatever they want to be in life.

Big names from business and music are speaking to hundreds of youngsters to inspire them to reach out for their dreams in life.

Innocent Drinks co-founder Richard Reed – who grew up in Kirkheaton – and Pigeon Detectives lead singer Matt Bowman were among the speakers at the “stepUP” event held at Cathedral House at St Thomas’s Road.

The two-day event began yesterday and continues today.

They are inspiring more than 500 students from schools including Royds Hall, Honley High, Colne Valley High and Rastrick High through the conference motto “If it’s possible for you, then it’s possible for me, it’s just a matter of how.”

The event is one of the UK’s largest, aimed at raising youngsters’ aspirations about their future, self-employment and the world of business. It includes workshops, presentations and talks from speakers from the world of business, both locally and nationally.

Richard Reed, who attended Batley Grammar School, praised the event which he said supported his own business ideology which was “having an idea and chasing that dream”.

He said: “Contemporary events like this enthuse students and encourage them to believe in some of the most important truths in life – that anyone can be successful if they follow that dream.”

Honley High School student Brendan McCue said the event had shown him “not to give up on anything.”

Royds Hall High School Year 11 student Lee Harrop added: “It shows what you can do with your life. I want to be a mechanic, but this event has shown me I can aspire to own and run my own garage.”

Ben Cooke from Rastrick High School wants to be a fashion designer and said the event has inspired him to continue with that aim.

The event, which started in Australia in 2002, is being run only for the second time in the UK and is funded by Yorkshire Forward.

Also speaking at the event are Deirdre Bounds, the former stand-up comedienne, world backpacker and teacher who set up ethical travel company, and Guinness memory record breaker David Thomas.

There will also be Dragons Den winner Imran Hakim who secured £140,000 funding from two of the TV Dragons for his iTeddy invention which now turns over £11m and ‘Teenpreneur’ Sabirul Islam who, inspired by a teacher, founded a web design business aged just 14.

Shane McLucas, chief operating officer of the stepUP Foundation who is in Yorkshire for the event, said: “We’re going to have a dramatic impact on these young people. “We really can make a positive difference to their lives and inspire them about future possibilities, both in business and in life.”