Taster courses for young people who would not otherwise think of going to college have been set up under a new scheme at Hopwood College, Rochdale.
The college is targeting unemployed young people aged 16 to 24, living in deprived areas of Rochdale, who have already fallen through the safety net.
A typical student might be young man or woman who has been in care up to the age of 16, who has not done well in education, and who needs guidance to be set on the road to independent living and a job.
The college is working with the social services and the probation service who help to refer young people who may benefit.
The first taster courses, run for 16 hours a week for 12 weeks, are in construction, engineering, catering and art and design. The long-term aim is to have taster course for every course, which is offered on a modular basis. A typical course offers nine hours of practical training, alongside students on the full-time course.