STUDENTS from across the Forth Valley are set to become the first to achieve a 'higher' for their entrepreneurial skills.

The 14 students from Larbert, Stirling and Wallace high schools will be informed in June by their teachers that they have successfully completed their Young Enterprise Scotland Company Programme.

That makes them the first in Scotland to gain an SCQF accredited qualification, introduced at the start of the current academic year.

The Level 6 qualification for the Company Programme is equivalent to 26-30 Credit Points and is thanks to collaboration between the government, the SCQF Partnership, Glasgow Kelvin College and Young Enterprise Scotland.

Students taking part had to establish an operational business to demonstrate practical skills in management, finance and marketing while showing an entrepreneurial drive.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic disrupting school life, Young Enterprise Scotland continued to liaise with the pupils online to encourage them to complete the programme.

Geoff Leask, CEO of Young Enterprise Scotland, congratulated everyone who took part amid particularly challenging conditions.

He said: “This is the first year that students participating in our Company Programme could achieve a ‘Higher’ equivalent qualification and Credit Points for their hard work and I applaud everyone who took part.

“As it turned out, they could not have faced a more challenging set of circumstances and yet their commitment and resilience during the coronavirus lockdown has paid off.

“These students can justifiably call themselves leaders as the first to hold the new qualification.”