BUSINESSES and high school students are both gaining from a pilot program launched in Kiama recently.
This follows a survey of local businesses that have completed federally funded digital enterprise training at Kiama Community College.
All businesses said they benefited from the training, but 70 per cent reported not having the time or skill to fully implement their plans to boost their business online.
Many young people are tech savvy but lack employment options, and the NextGen Digital Business Program aims to connect them with businesses.
The program enables 16 students to deliver digital services such as social media and website updates, data entry, database creation, YouTube clip development and app development to local businesses on a paid basis.
Businesses can secure services for as little as $35 a week for 10 weeks, while students gain valuable workplace experience.
The concept for the pilot, which is facilitated by Kiama Community College, was developed by regional representatives including Kiama Municipal Council's economic development manager Megan Hutchison.
The Smith Family partnership broker Lynelle Johnson called the idea a "no-brainer".
"With youth unemployment at such high levels and untapped local reservoir of e-potential in our youth that corresponds with needs of the local business community, this is a match made in heaven," she said.
Participating businesses develop a workplan with social media expert Francine Bishop.
Businesses are sought for the next intake of students. Contact Leanne Spinks at Kiama Community College on 4232 1050.