Training and Enterprise Council, Focus Central London, is advising businesses to look to school leavers to fill their vacancies.

It strongly supports the government's aim to increase Britain's competitiveness by utilising the talents of young people and is encouraging local businesses to take advantage of the training options open to them.

Two options for training school leavers are available - Modern Apprenticeships (MAs) and National Traineeships.

MAs provide the opportunity to tailor a training programme to a company's needs, ensuring that the young person understands the company's business goals, products and services.

MAs are available in almost every industry - from customer services to catering or motor mechanics. They have benefits for companies, including training the apprentice to industry standards, and providing the opportunity to recruit talented young people.

They take approximately three years to complete, depending on the ability of the individual, his or her occupation and previous experience.

Training may take place in-house (if the company is an approved centre), through a training centre or college of further education.

A National Traineeship offers young people aged from 16 to 18 training for a wide range of jobs in almost every industry.

It provides a combination of on-the-job training and a nationally-recognised qualification (NVQ2) as well as the opportunity to learn key skills - communication, Information Technology, problem-solving and personal skills, such as working with others and general performance.

Individuals or companies wanting more information should phone Joyce Roberts on 0171 896 8507.

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