THE BRONX - Mayor Michael Bloomberg has a plan to help the city?s struggling vocational schools.

Bloomberg says he wants the city?s 21 trade schools to be more academically rigorous. To do so, the mayor has asked the leaders of some of the industries involved to lend a hand.

The mayor wants a better partnership to exist between the schools and companies that specialize in mechanics and construction. He also plans to open three new trade schools.

During his State of the City address about six months ago, Bloomberg announced the creation of a task force to examine why nearly half of the students enrolled in the city?s vocational schools were receiving failing grades.

The proposed changes will affect the estimated 30,000 students who attend vocational schools. The Department of Education says it hopes the changes will increase enrollment in the trade schools, which has dropped in recent years.