The Government has launched education initiatives costing Pounds 5 million to help combat truancy and disaffection.
Titled New Start, the scheme initially comprises 17 community projects including a "second-chance school" in deprived east Leeds. The Government eventually expects to spend Pounds 10m on New Start.
Speaking at the London launch this week, education minister Baroness Blackstone said that more than 50,000 16-year-olds left school last year without a qualification.
"The Government doesn't believe that anyone's a failure at 16," she told an audience from training and enterprise councils, further education colleges and education authorities. "We need to bring back into learning those who got very little out of their years of compulsory education at school."
This would, she said, involve an enhanced role for the careers services as well as the introduction of national traineeships at NVQ level 2 - a rung below the Modern Apprenticeship. She said that a wide range of work-related options should be made available to young people who had missed out the first time round.
The European Second Chance School initiative puts money into deprived areas to cut unemployment. The second-chance school in Leeds will be based on a family learning centre which takes a community-wide approach to helping young people and adults back into work.