A retail guru is campaigning to improve the confidence of young people and inspire them to career success.

Kate Hardcastle, a non-executive director at Bradford Bulls, is urging business leaders, celebrities and entrepreneurs in the city to give an hour of their time to visit schools and tell their pupils their stories.

The initiative is part of her A Positive Imagine campaign, which aims to provide ‘real life’ mentors and role models to champion the next generation.

Ms Hardcastle, who runs Insight with Passion, said: “I’ve spoken in schools and one of the things I learned along the way was there is a crisis of confidence among young people. There are so many young people who feel they’re going to fail from the word go.

“About 80 per cent of 15-17 year olds just want to be famous. To be pop singers or footballers.

“They don’t want to say they want to be the local mechanic or the best bread baker because they don’t think it’s the right thing to say.

“The Government is looking at things to help young people, but they won’t begin until 2016 or later. I thought ‘we’ve got to do something now’.

“I contacted people I knew asking them to give time to visit schools and share their stories and they all said ‘yes’.

“These are people from all walks of life, from celebrities to someone who started out their career by pairing socks in the men’s department at M&S.

“But we need more people to get involved.”

Later in the year, the initiative will include visits to Bradford College and Bradford University to speak to students and November will be Positive Image Month.

The month will be dedicated to events, speakers and launches involving former Spice Girl Mel C, businesswoman Hilary Devey and former athlete turned TV presenter Iwan Thomas.

The Telegraph & Argus last month unveiled the Foundation For Jobs campaign to bring the issue of unemployment – and, more importantly, employment – to the fore by working with key industry, private sector and public sector organisations and individuals to find ways to create new hope for the future.

For more information about A Positive Image, or how you can help, visit timetolookbeyondthemirror.co.uk.