BUSINESSES in the Solent region are being urged to support a brand new school which has been developed in partnership with port, cruise and marine companies.

The Studio School, sponsored by City College Southampton , will give 300 students, aged 14-19, the chance to gain mainstream qualifications in a way that also gives them a genuine taste of the worlds of business and industry.

Major employers, including Associated British Ports (ABP), Meachers Global Logistics, GE Aviation, Southampton City Council and Southampton University Hospitals Trust are among those to have signed up to support the bid to open the school.

Speaking at a Business Solent briefing at the boat show, Helen Mason from Southampton City College, where the new academy school will be based from September 2013, said it would focus on employability.

“Our able and motivated students will spend time in the workplace, studying all year round and for longer days.

“Our focus will be the marine and cruise specialisms to meet the job opportunities of the next five to ten years,” she said.

She added City College had forged good links with businesses already and Business Solent had offered “outstanding support” by introducing more business leaders.